A former Minister of Education, Dr Oby Ezekwesili has described the new arraignment of #RevolutionNow convener, Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Services (DSS) as a means to subvert a former ruling ordering his release.
Ezekwesili’s reaction was prompted by Monday’s court ruling ordering the remand of Sowore and co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, in the custody of the DSS pending the hearing of their bail applications on Friday.
The former minister advised President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government to “pull from this precipitous approach at handling Voice of Dissension.”
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered their remand following their arraignment on charges of treasonable felony and other sundry offences instituted against him by the Federal Government.
Recall that on September 24, upon a request by Sowore’s legal team led by Femi Falana (SAN), Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court granted bail to him with the condition that he deposit his passport in the court’s registry.
Since the court ruling, the DSS is yet to release Sowore over claims that it is yet to be served with the court order for his release. Falana has since denied the claim, saying representatives of the agency were at the court on the day of the ruling.
Condemning the continued detention of Sowore against the court order and the manhandling of the activist at the court by the DSS operatives, the former Minister in a series of tweet via her verified Twitter handle wrote:
“This new arraignment of @YeleSowore before another judge is obviously meant to subvert the ruling by Justice Taiwo that he be released on Bail. To see how he was roughly handled today in a video clip shows the FG of @MBuhari has declared WAR on our Democracy. It won’t win. Never.
“How can what happened to @YeleSowore in this clip be right conduct by @NGRPresident @MBuhari -supervised DSS? Surely this @NigeriaGov has gotten carried away. It is a dangerous inflection point for governments anywhere in the world. Visit History books.
“All can now see that @NigeriaGov of @NGRPresident @MBuhari is even on the eve of our 59th Independence Anniversary abandoning all pretenses that they respect our Constitution by this brazen subversion of the Judiciary and suppression of a Citizen’s Rights.
“President @MBuhari I advise you and your government to please pull from this precipitous approach at handling Voice of Dissension. It is not too late to recalibrate this totally condemnable and undemocratic conduct. Respect the Court Ruling of Justice Taiwo. #ReleaseSoworeNow.
“President @MBuhari do the right thing by our Constitution which you swore to defend. Do not get carried away yet again. Respect the Principle of Separation of Power. Respect the independence of our Judiciary.”