Amnesty International has urged the Federal Government of Nigeria to drop its charges against the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
In a recent statement, its programme manager, Seun Bakare, Amnesty International believes Sowore and Agba Jalingo are prisoners of conscience for blasting the government.
They, therefore, told the government to release the activists immediately and unconditionally.
The statement read, “We consider Sowore, Jalingo and Bakare to be prisoners of conscience detained solely for exercising their human rights.
“The Nigerian authorities must drop all charges against them and release them immediately and unconditionally.
“Sowore, Jalingo and Bakare’s continued detention is a matter of shame for Nigeria. Their cases show just how far the authorities in Nigeria can go to silence their critics.
“The government of President Muhammadu Buhari needs to stop filing bogus and politically motivated charges against critics, and start listening to what they have to say.
“The flawed charges and sham trials of Sowore, Jalingo and Bakare expose the inadequacies and bizarre manipulation of the Nigerian criminal justice system and an unacceptable contempt for the rule of law and human rights.”
Do you agree?
Omoyele Sowore (born 16 February 1971) is a Nigerian human rights activist, pro-democracy campaigner, former presidential candidate, and founder of online news agency Sahara Reporters, On August 3, 2019 Sowore was arrested by Nigeria Department of Security Services (DSS) for treason allegation after calling for a protest tagged RevolutionNow.
Omoyele Sowore is from Ese-Odo, Ondo State in South West Nigeria. Contrary to popular belief, Sowore is of Ijaw Apoi tribe and not the Ilaje tribe in Ese-Odo. Sowore was born in the Niger Delta region of the country where he was also raised in a polygamous home with sixteen children. At 12, he learnt how to ride a motorcycle so that he could fish at the lake for the entire family before going to school every morning. Sowore’s passion and desire in media was propelled during the military rule in Nigeria.
Sowore studied Geography and Planning at the University of Lagos from 1989 to 1995 with his academic program extended by two extra years after being expelled twice for political reasons and student activism. He was the President of the University of Lagos Student Union Government between 1992 and 1994 where he was involved in anti-cultism and anti-corruption advocacy. Sowore claimed he was attacked and beaten by some cultists.
On February 25, 2018, Sowore announced his intention to run for president in the 2019 Nigerian general election. In August 2018, he founded a political party, the African Action Congress (AAC), for which he will run for in 2019.
On October 6, 2018, following successful primary elections at the AAC’s national convention, Omoyele Sowore emerged unchallenged as the Presidential Candidate for the party.
After touring many states in Nigeria, visiting dignitaries such as the Emir of Kano and Wole Soyinka, Sowore embarked on a fundraising tour around the world including Australia, the United States of America and the UK. He was in Luton (London) on the 10th of November, 2018.
Sowore flouted debate rules of engagement through naming and shaming corrupt members of the opposition party.
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