A chieftain of Alliance for Democracy (AD), Honourable Caulcrick Akinkunle, has advised the Nigeria government, to handle the matter of Omoyele Sowore, with utmost caution.
Akinkunle, AD Chairman in Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, Lagos, gave the advice, in a chat with journalists on the continuous detention of Sowore, despite an order of the Court for his release and his party’s case before Supreme Court of Nigeria.
On Sowore, Akinkunle said: “On August 3, 2019 Omoyele Sowore, a former presidential candidate, was arrested by the Nigerian Department of Security Services (DSS) for alleged treason after calling for a protest tagged “RevolutionNow”.
“In flagrant disregard to court, DSS allegedly stormed a court of law to rearrest Sowore who had been granted bail.
“With this development, it seem, that Nigeria and its present crop of leaders under the leadership of those suffering from a severe case of hangover from the country’s protracted years of military rule in which the law of the jackboot reigned supreme.
“The question arises, when will the country lose appetite for ex-military rulers who show up in civilian garb and claim they can make right, what they could not do as dictators? Of recent memory, we have Olusegun Obasanjo who spent or squandered eight years in power and Muhammad Buhari who is on course to do the same.
Despite being granted bail in October, authorities have continued to hold Sowore, sparking an outcry from his supporters in Nigerians and indeed the world watched horrific images showing Sowore pinned to the floor during scuffles with state security agents after a court hearing”.
Quoting Mr. Bob Menendez, an American Senator, Akinkunle said; “I am outraged by the blatant harassment of Omoyele Sowore, an activist and journalist whose only crime appears to be exercising his right to free expression. In a concerted effort to secure his release on behalf of the Sowore family living in New Jersey, my office has been working closely with the State Department as Mr. Sowore’s case languished following his arbitrary arrest back in August.
“While we continue to seek immediate answers about Mr. Sowore’s treatment and conditions in jail, I will be further engaging directly with U.S. Ambassador Mary Beth Leonard in Abuja to raise this case at the highest levels of the Nigerian government so the Buhari administration gets the message that we are committed to defending Mr. Sowore’s rights and securing his release.
“This blatant miscarriage of justice is symptomatic of closing political and media space in Nigeria”.
The AD chieftain said, this development if not urgently and amicably addressed, could have far reaching implications for the government and Nigerians as a whole. The prospects of economic sanctions loom large like an ominous cloud over the less privileged citizenry, who will ultimately feel the brunt.
He also called on the National Assembly to find a way if checking the excesses of the Federal government, this he said if not done, may have negative implications on the entire nation.
“The two Chambers of the Legislature: the House of Representatives and the Senate, make up the law-making body in Nigeria. They have a sacred and constitutional role to put a check on the excesses of the executive arm of government at all times, despite party affiliation, not when it suits it’s narrow purposes. Its failure could precipitate anarchy.
“As a Chairman for Alliance for Democracy, we are asking the government to release Sowore and obey and respect the Constitution of Federal republic Nigeria.
“We are also hopeful that our cases in the Supreme Court in Lagos State’s elections, we hope to have justice because we won the election”.