Nigeria: Court Declares Activist Sowore’s Arrest, Detention Illegal

Nigeria: Court declares Activist Sowore’s Arrest Over #RevolutionNow Protest Illegal (News Central TV)
Nigeria: Court declares Activist Sowore’s Arrest Over #RevolutionNow Protest Illegal (News Central TV)

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday declared the arrest of Nigeria’s human rights activist Omoyele Sowore over his 2019 #RevolutionNow protest, as illegal.

The court, Obiora Egwuato, handed down a ruling in Sowore’s fundamental rights enforcement case, ordering the State Security Service (SSS) to compensate the activist N1 million.

This occurred just three months after another Federal High Court judge in Abuja, Anwuli Chikere, ordered the SSS to reimburse Sowore N2 million for the illegal seizure of his phone at the time of his detention in 2019.

Chikere, the judge who delivered judgement in Sowore’s human rights claim on December 8, 2021, also ordered the SSS to immediately release the iPhone and N10,000 in cash that were allegedly confiscated from him without a court warrant.

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Although the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation continues to prosecute him for organising the protest, Monday’s ruling was another affirmation of court decisions that had approved the #RevolutionNow protest and condemned the arrest of those who participated in it as unconstitutional.

Sowore’s lawyer, Marshal Abubakar, of the law practice of Femi Falana, a prominent human rights lawyer, condemned Monday’s ruling as just another win for the “notorious” SSS.

Sowore has continued to organise protests against President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration since his release, and has been arrested, manhandled, or detained several times in the process.

His trial has stalled since 2019, yet he is still restricted to Abuja due to the bail terms he was granted.

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