The various groups and notable persons in the actvist community and civil society organisations rose in condemnation of a ruling by a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, yesterday, granting a request by the Department of State Services, DSS, to detain the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, for 45 days.
Trial judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, said the DSS was at liberty to apply for renewal of the detention order at the expiration of the 45 days, and adjourned till September 21, 2019 as the return date.
Omoyele Sowore, who is publisher of the Sahara Reporters news portal, was picked up in Lagos in the early hours of Saturday, August 3, 2019 by DSS operatives for calling for a nationwide revolutionary protest over alleged maladministration by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
The protest which held in various parts of the country last Monday, met stiff resistance from security agencies, with some of the protesters arrested and subsequently arraigned in court for engaging in unlawful assembly. Some journalists covering the protest were also assaulted.
Reports indicate that he is set to be charged with terrorism, a charge that a leading legal expert in Nigeria, Femi Falana, has insisted will fall flat when trial opens.
The arrest elicited a wide range of condemnation on social media with people accusing the government of seeking to stifle dissent and the right to peaceful protest.
The State Security Service said the calls for revolution were unlawful. “He’s with us,” said a spokesman, confirming the arrest.
“He has crossed the line, he has threatened public safety… Nothing will happen, there won’t be any revolution. The government, which has been elected democratically, will be in place."