The Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, has chided administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for filing charges of treason against the detained publisher of Sahara Reporters and the Presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 election, Omoyele Sowore.
In a suit dated September 19, and filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, the government charged Sowore with treason, money laundering and also accused him of granting an interview that caused an insult to the person of President Buhari.
In his reaction to the charges, Soyinka, said the government “has indeed attained an unprecedented level of paranoia” over the “improbable” charges that include “insulting” President Buhari.
In a statement issued on Saturday, the professor said he at first didn’t believe reports about the charges against Sowore because he thought it was a fake news.
Soyinka, who said Nigeria was yet to learn from the experience of the past, said the news about the charges was depressing and that he initially took it to be another fake news until reality dawned on him.
“This is utterly depressing news. So, the Sowore affair has moved beyond harassment and taken on a sinister direction. Outside the country where I happened to be engaged at the moment, I can testify that the immediate reaction around me was to dismiss this as yet another grotesque product of Fake News, of which Nigerians have become the greatest practitioners. I confess that I also joined in this school of thought — at the start.
“Further checks have however confirmed that this government has indeed attained an unprecedented level of paranoia. I do not believe that the Justice department itself believes in these improbable charges, as formally publicised”, Soyinka stated.