Omoyele Sowore, Publisher, Sahara Reporters and Presidential Candidate in the last general election was on September 24th granted bail by Justice Taiwo Taiwo but was not released by the officials of the Department of State Security Service even after meeting the bail conditions.
On Monday, September 30th Sowore was arraigned by the Federal Government and Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in her ruling said the bail earlier granted Sowore was no longer relevant since it was not predicated on the charges upon which he was arraigned on Monday, and that Sowore must file an application for a fresh bail.
In reaction to that, many Nigerians have condemned the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and the disregard for the rule of law which is the reason Sowore was not released even after the court approved his bail application.
Journalist, Tobiloba Oyetunde while reacting to the incident said, “it is obvious the Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari does not have any iota of regard, not even an atom of respect for the rule of law in Nigeria. Noteworthy it is, that the Department of State Service or State Security Services, whatever semantics they might want to adopt, is directly under the presidency, and reports directly to the presidency.
“If you follow the case closely, you’ll discover that the DSS guys are working on a directive from some people at the top, according to them. The DSS claimed they are not aware of the order to release Sowore 48 hours after the order has been made, meanwhile, the DSS has a lawyer in court who must have informed them about the decision of the court. Despite the intervention of Femi Falana (SAN) who presented the documents when they started denying having idea of the bail order, he has not been released.”
Oyetunde said there is need for the Presidency to obey court order to release Sowore on bail before arraigning him on fresh charges.
Melony Ishola described the democratic system of government under the current administration as ‘Autocratic’. Ishola said, “It is an organized oppression that runs the public service of today. If not, why would El-zakzaky be discharged by the court and still be held hostage by the federal Government. If you have never seen insecurity in Leadership, here you have it. If you have never seen Autocracy in Democracy, here it lives.
“I cited the example of El-zakzaky to make a point that this has become a pattern of the current administration. So the question isn’t what I feel about DSS still holding Sowore, it is why he was being held in the first place. It is the way and manner he was arrested like a common thief devoid of dignity and respect.”
Ishola said the actions of the federal government were mainly to frustrate anyone who speaks truth to power. She buttressed that, “if you want to become the enemy of the state in this dispensation, just show that you have sense! Here we have a leadership of mere bigots.”
Clergy and Political Analyst, RexKennedy SaltLove described the detention of Sowore as action which frustrates development of democracy. SaltLove explained that, “It shows General Buhari’s dictatorial tendency and penchant for disobeying court orders. Actions like this do not strengthen the institutional framework of a virile and dynamic democratic structures that ensures check and balances.”
Agbodemu Ishola Musbau, Human Rights Advocate said it is unfortunate that the President has decided to disregard the rule of law and also using the instrument of state against the common man. He said the president is further portraying the country in a negative light in the international community. Agbodemu hopes that the Federal Government would obey the rule of law and ensure the immediate release of Sowore.
Friday, October 4th has been fixed for the hearing of Sowore’s bail application. Will he be released or remain in detention?