By Ibrahim Sarafa and Adekunle Adebayo
A pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere on Friday condemned the 45-day detention order issued by Federal High Court in Abuja on the presidential candidate of the African Action Alliance in the February 2019 General Elections, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests was arrested by the State Security Services after which it sought court’s permission to detain him for about 90 days.
But in a statement signed by the National Publicity Secretary of the Group, Yinka Odumakin, demanded immediate release of Publisher of the radical online platform, Sahara Reporters.
Odumakin described the order as a new phase in the orchestrated conscription of the democratic space in Nigeria.
He said, “Afenifere views with great concern the 45-day detention without trial granted the DSS by a Federal High Court on Omoyele Sowore over his call for a protest on Monday.
“We are aware of that obnoxious provision in the Terrorism Act, but it can never assume superiority over the Constitution which stipulates that a citizen cannot be detained for more than 48 hours before being charged to court.
“Sowore was arrested before he could commit an offence and the DSS seems to want to go shopping for evidence to prosecute him.
“Having failed to allow him to commit the offense before he was peremptorily arrested, the DSS should free Sowore or charge him to court so the judicial process can take its course.
“As it is, he is only being held illegally using the legal process. Our advice to government is that it should understand and act in conformity with the democratic tenets in dealing with the rights of Nigerians.”
Meanwhile, Sowore has applied to the Federal High Court in Abuja to set aside its order permitting the State Security Services to detain him for 45 days.
The activist, who did this through his lawyer, Mr Femi Falana filed a 19-ground application, arguing that the order issued by the court breached his constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights.
He maintained that the order of court amounted to “legalising the illegality” of his detention for about four days prior to the issuance of the court order on Thursday.