Atiku reacts to Sowore’s rearrest, says Nigeria under tyranny

By AdvocateNews on 07/12/2019

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Fighting broke out as security forces attempted to re-arrest Mr Sowore
Fighting broke out as security forces attempted to re-arrest Mr Sowore

Former Vice President of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar on Friday said the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, to arrest Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, was a violation of democratic norms.

“Nigeria is not a dictatorship,” Atiku tweeted.

“We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us.”

“To keep Nigeria a democracy is the paramount duty of all concerned stakeholders. Please speak up against this tyranny and side with the Nigerian people.”

Similarly, the former Vice President also released another statement in which he insisted that Friday’s invasion of a courtroom at the Federal High Court, Abuja by operatives of the Department of State Service (DSS), was a rape on the sanctity of the court.

In the statement distributed to newsmen, which he personally signed, Atiku said never in the history of Nigerian democracy has a judge been treated in such a disdainful and brazen attack on not just her person and office, but on the entire judiciary.

The statement reads: “Today, I am in extreme anguish of spirit having watched the unfortunate drama that played itself out at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, in which agents of the state not only caused a commotion in court in order to frustrate a judgment of a court of competent authority.

“This is unacceptable. It is a rape on the sanctity of the court. Nigeria is not a dictatorship. We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us”.

Atiku called for investigation into the invasion with a view to identifying those responsible for the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court, and indeed the Nigerian judiciary.

“They must be sanctioned to the highest extent permissible by our laws”, Atiku said and called on law enforcement agencies in country to immediately respect not just the court order made by Justice Ojukwu, but the order of any court in Nigeria, on other detainees like Sambo Dasuki, Ibrahim Zakzaky, among others.

“We cannot have a situation where our government is quick to obey foreign court orders and even quicker to disobey domestic court orders. This is symptomatic of a mindset that is servile to foreign powers and brutal to Nigerians.

“Without the rule of law, there can be no rule at all. Power in Nigeria still flows from the people, not from the barrel of a gun. I call on all men and women of goodwill not to keep quiet or sit on the fence at times like this.

“To keep Nigeria a democracy is the paramount duty of all concerned stakeholders. Please speak up against this tyranny and side with the Nigerian people”, he added, describing the invasion as a desecration of the court and the entire judiciary.

 

Operatives of the Department of Security Service (DSS) on Friday re-arrested Sowore barely 24hours after his release.

Sowore was released on Thursday night after the court gave Nigeria’s secret police a 24-hour ultimatum to release him.

The court also awarded N100,000 against the prosecution for failing to comply with court orders requesting the release of Sowore and for not serving the defence counsel with necessary documents early enough.

At the resumed hearing on Friday, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu after court proceedings adjourned the case till February 11 and 12 and 13, 2020 for definite hearing.

But as everyone filed out of the courtroom, no fewer than 15 armed officers of the DSS, who had laid an ambush for the defendants, made their way towards Sowore and his co-defendant Bakare.

There was a stampede as the officers cocked their guns scaring people away.

Sowore and Bakare, however, resisted being rearrested, running back into the courtroom.

Posted 07/12/2019 07:06:01 AM

 

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