The Presidency has cleared the air on the detention and release of the Convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.
Naija News reports that the Department of State Service (DSS) on Tuesday evening finally released Sowore from detention.
The Federal Government had on Tuesday ordered the release of Sowore and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki.
The directive was given by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, in a statement issued today.
Malami said the decision to release them was necessitated by compliance with the bail granted the duo by the court.
The statement reads: “The Office of the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore. Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the Defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the Complainant/Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015,” the statement read.
International news outlets had linked Sowore’s arrested and detention to his work as a journalist criticising the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, Malam Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, in a statement said Sowore’s detention and release on bail was not due to his work as a journalist but because he called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.
The statement read in part: “The Presidency wishes to clarify the release on bail of the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 elections, Omowale Sowore
“Some international news outlets have mistakenly been describing his release as that of a journalist.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the Buhari administration has never, since coming into office in 2015, detained a journalist, seized copies of newspapers or shut down a medium of information.
“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria. He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely-read digital newspaper run from the United States of America.
“He founded an organisation, Revolution Now, to launch, in their own words, “Days of Rage”, with the publicised purpose of fomenting mass civil unrest and the elected administration’s overthrow.
“No government will allow anybody to openly call for destabilization in the country and do nothing.
“The government believes strictly in observing the rule of law but must safeguard public security and will not allow trouble makers to incite the public and cause a breakdown of law and order.”
Also speaking to newsmen on Tuesday, Garba Shehu noted that the Federal Government may appeal against the court judgments that granted bails to Sambo Dasuki and Sowore.
According to Shehu, Buhari’s decision to release the duo was informed by the need to obey the rule of law.
“Notwithstanding the right of the government which are very clear to it under the constitution of Nigeria to appeal this order for their release, to the Court of Appeal in fact to follow the entire judicial process leading up to the Supreme Court.
“The government has decided, as an important lesson, that compliance to the rule of law of the court of the land is important, the government is asking them to go, is releasing them.
“The processes of their trials will continue and the government will be using the same process to assert its right also appealing the terms and conditions under which the court said they should be released.
“However, the President wants an important lesson to be taught in the country – this is that – `we will obey the order and they will be let go and the processes will go.”
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