The Nigerian government has re-activated the biometric identification of human rights activist and former Presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore.
SaharaReporters had reported that the Muhammadu Buhari’s regime earlier in the month deactivated the activist’s national identity card, permanent voter card, international passport and driver license.
Sowore however in a pre-litigation notice written to the Attorney General of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami and other agencies by his lawyer, Tope Temokun, gave the Nigerian government seven days to reverse its decision.
“TAKE NOTICE that if after the expiration of SEVEN DAYS, inclusive of the date of service of this letter on you, our Client’s National Identity Number is not reactivated, we have the full instruction of our Client to approach the appropriate Court with jurisdiction to seek this redress and this shall be without further recourse to you.
“TAKE FURTHER NOTICE that this letter is also issued to you as a Pre-Action Notice,” part of the pre-action notice read.
Taking to his Facebook page on Monday, Sowore said the government had reactivated his National Identity Number.
“BREAKING: Happy to report that after a 7-day ultimatum given to the lawless Muhammadu Buhari regime I’ve been informed that my national Identity cards have been reactivated! The struggle against tyranny continues! #RevolutionNow #WeCantContinueLikeThis “Sowore Gives FG 7-day Ultimatum To Reactivate NIN “- January 14th 2022,” he posted.
His counsel, Barrister Temokun, condemned the action of the government.
The lawyer said the activist was a citizen by birth and shouldn’t be deprived of his citizenship by the Buhari-led government.
He said, “While we have already transited our court processes to the Federal High Court Abuja for filing this morning to challenge the constitutionality of the deactivation of the National Identity Number (NIN) and the Permanent Voters Card (PVC) of Omoyele Sowore by the agencies of the Federal Government, the good news came that the spineless but recklessly ruthless regime has reactivated the NIN and the PVC.
“This government is now a "try your luck government" which tries to unleash one form of oppression or the other, but once they see people's uprising or challenge coming, they cowardly back down. The same way the government announced there would be increase in fuel price few days ago but the moment the people, under the organised Labour, signified serious plan to occupy the street, the government recoiled. The only lesson then from this is for the people never to be tired of fighting back at policies of government that aims at snuffing life out of them.
“In our earlier letters submitted on the 14th of January 2022, to the National Identity Management Commission, the Independent National Electoral commission and the Attorney-General of the Federation, we have given the government SEVEN DAYS ULTIMATUM to reactivate Omoyele Sowore's proof of national identity or face court action. The seven-day ultimatum lapsed on the 21st of January 2022 and we have our processes ready for filing this morning in court when this news of victory came.
“We are not unmindful of the antics of the government to keep Omoyele Sowore under political arrest till 2023 presidential election is over and giving him city arrest in Abuja for 3 years now isn't working enough as his presence in Abuja has created more problems for the regime, they felt his public image has refused to thin down so deactivation of his national identification means is another resort. Sowore is a citizen of Nigeria by birth, not by registration. He is a son of the soil in the ancient riverine town of Kiribo, in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of Ondo State. He is neither from Niger nor Mali. So no one, not even the president, can deprive him of his citizenship.
“Deactivation of NIN amounts to deactivation his record of citizenship which impliedly equates to deprivation of his citizenship from the national database. This violates Section 30 of the 1999 constitution. We are not keeping eyes closed in what next move the regime may craft to achieve their aim, as eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
“If the people challenge oppression, they can win. But if they don't, they have lost! Now the people have won again and once we are not tired of fighting back, we will win again and again and again.”