Court orders for activist Omoyele Sowore to be detained for 45 more days
A court in Nigeria has granted the state spy agency a request to hold a publisher and politician detained last weekend over a banned protest known as “Revolution Now.”
Omoyele Sowore, who is publisher of the Sahara Reporters news portal, is to be held in detention by the Department of State Services, DSS; for a period of 45 days. DSS had asked the court for 90 day detention.
Reports indicate that he is set to be charged with terrorism, a charge that a leading legal expert in Nigeria, Femi Falana, has insisted will fall flat when trial opens.
The State Security Service said the calls for revolution were unlawful. “He’s with us,” said a spokesman, confirming the arrest.
“He has crossed the line, he has threatened public safety… Nothing will happen, there won’t be any revolution. The government, which has been elected democratically, will be in place.”
A presidency spokesman last Sunday said there is “a difference between peaceful call to protest and incitement for a revolution.”
The statement did not refer to the arrest, but said “the ballot box is the only constitutional means of changing government and a president in Nigeria.”
Sowore had called for a good governance revolution in the country last week. The Sahara Reporters publisher was arrested in Lagos on August 3, by DSS operatives who stormed his apartment.
The arrest came two days before the nationwide protest which was scheduled to take place on August 5 across the country.
With Sowore in its custody, the DSS urged the federal judge for permission to further detain him pending final investigations.
Despite the DSS admitting that it had no evidence of a plot to take over the Muhammadu Buhari government against Sowore, the judge still granted the secret police permission to keep him under the anti-terrorism law.