A group of human right lawyers in Abuja on Thursday kicked against the ex-parte order granted by a Federal High Court to the Department of State Services to detain the publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener of the RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, for 45days.
The lawyers, who came to the court to express their solidarity in support of the human rights crusader, said that they would apply for the vacation of the order.
One of the lawyers, who spoke with journalists and asked not to be named, said that there was no justification to keep Sowore in custody for so long.
He said, “We don’t believe there is any justification for them to seek to detain Sowore for demanding that Nigerians should rise up for their socio-economic rights.
“For calling for revolution, he has defined the terms and has stated it expressly that things are not going well in the country.”
He added that Sowore was not the first person to call for revolution in Nigeria, noting that many people in government today had called for a revolution several times in the past.
He added, “Nobody arrested and detained them, no DSS came for these persons when they called for revolution.
“We have a lot of this evidence. It is most unfortunate that the government is now seeking to clamp down on dissents.”
Also react to the development, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Tayo Oyetibo, said, “There is a provision in the administration of criminal justice act that allows that to be done but it’s a provision that needs to be reviewed because the liberty of the individual ought not to be compromised on the altar of investigation. So, that law needs to be reviewed once again.
“To keep a man for 45 days without being charged to court is offensive to the constitution and offensive to the notions of the principles of the constitution.”
Another lawyer, Johnson Omede, told Sahara Reporters that the court order was alien to the crime the suspect had been accused of.
He said, “The order by the Federal High Court to detain Mr Sowore for 45 days is alien to the offense the suspect is been accused of.
“Revolution is nowhere mentioned under the terrorism Act and to have granted an order detaining a suspect for 45 days under the instrument, leaves us with more to be desired.”
The Federal Government had on Tuesday, August 6 requested for an ex-parte order to keep Sowore for at least 90 days.
He was picked up at a Lagos hotel in the early hours of Saturday by operatives of the DSS and has been kept in custody ever since despite growing calls for his immediate release.
SaharaReporters, New York