By Ayodele Oluwafemi
Constitutional and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has flayed the continued detention of the convener of the ‘Revolution Now’ protest, Omoyele Sowore, for more than the days permitted by the court.
Falana noted that Sowore, the publisher of the online platform, SaharaReporters, had been in DSS custody for more than 45 days, in breach of the court ruling that permitted his detention for 45 days.
Falana also condemned the alleged siege to the premises of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and the Lagos office of Sahara Reporters, on Wednesday by armed security in the bid to quell the planned protest of ‘Revolution Now’.
Falana also faulted the illegal detention of Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale and others being held in detention facilities despite court rulings for their release.
According to him, “In spite of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, the police had wanted to disrupt and stop the peaceful meeting of law-abiding citizens to discuss the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale and scores of others being incarcerated in various detention facilities in the country.
“Contrary to the order of the Federal High Court that Sowore be detained for 45 days, the DSS has incarcerated him for 47 days.
“Last week, the Federal High Court turned down the application for the renewal of its order for the detention of Messrs Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo for another 14 days.
“In spite of the expiration of the detention order of the two journalists, they are still being held by the police in Cross River State. Mr. Abayomi Olawale, who was arrested on August 5, has been detained for 45 days by the DSS without any court order whatsoever.
“These detainees and scores of others languishing in illegal custody ought to be released forthwith.”