By Sunday Ehigiator
About 50 policemen in 10 trucks have surrounded the premises of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) in Adeniyi Jones area of Ikeja, Lagos.
A protest demanding the release of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow protest had been scheduled to take place at the venue at 10am Wednesday.
Sowore, candidate of the African Action Congress in the last presidential election, has been detained since August by the Department of State Services (DSS) which accused him of threatening public peace with the #RevolutionNow protest.
A top CDHR official who does not want to be named told THISDAY that the security operatives have been at the premises since 7am, and he had to fight his way to leave the premises.
“We didn’t invite them. This is just a peaceful protest and we don’t know why they are here in their numbers. For the benefit of public defenders, I just want to inform you that Police are currently laying siege to the premises of CDHR right as we speak,” he said.
A statement signed by the Co-Convener, Olaseni Ajai, entitled ‘Police Invasion of CDHR and sealing up of Sahara Reporters Offices: Darker days ahead’, reveals that the intended peaceful protest borders on the detention of several activists without trial.
According to him, “Early this morning, the police and other security forces invaded the national office of the CDHR and Sahara Reporters Offices, in another desperate attempt to forcefully stop planned peaceful agitation against detention of activists without trial scheduled to start by 11am this morning.
“The CDHR is a human rights organization and Sahara Reporters is a media agency. That their offices could be invaded and sealed in this gestapo like manner this morning in anticipation of protest, only confirms that the civil rights fought for over the years are crudely being removed by Buhari’s APC government.
“The right to speech, associate, protest and even to think are no more guaranteed under this regime.
“However, our agitation for the immediate release of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale (Mandate) and all others currently being held in Buhari detention centres, and for the revolutionary transformation of the country continues.”