Sowore: CSOs Give FG 14-day Ultimatum to Release All Illegally Detained Persons


*Says mass action inevitable if government fails to comply

By Udora Orizu in Abuja

Some Civil Society Organizations have given a 14-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to release Omoyele Sowore and other illegally detained persons or risk having a nationwide mass action.

The CSOs at a press conference on the state of the nation in Abuja also stated five demands that they needed the government to unfailingly comply with within 14 days.

Among the CSOs that gave the ultimatum were Amnesty International, Centre for Democracy and Development, Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC), Concerned Nigerians, SERAP, EiE, HEDA resource centre, People’s Alternative Front, TBN, Transition monitoring group (TMG), and WARDC.

Listing the demands of the groups, Yemi Adamolekun from EiE Nigeria said the
CSOs were concerned about the attack on the judiciary and attack on free speech and pattern of silencing.

She said, “We demand that President Muhammadu Buhari to show accountability as President and address the nation on his commitment to the rule of law and human rights. Secondly to release illegally detained persons by the department of secret service. Thirdly, government should obey all pending court orders, and lastly an investigation of officers who violated protocol and circumstances leading to Omoyele Sowore second arrest and his unconditional release.”

She warns that if the demands were not honoured by the government within 14 days, they will mobilise a mass action across Nigeria.

Corroborating Ademolekun statement,
CISLAC executive director, Auwal Rafsanjani, lamented that the country was under siege.

He stated that the mass action was collective responsibility of every citizen because everyone was in danger.

Rafsanjani accused the present government of perpetuating the same brutality they bemoaned back in 2015.

According to him, “In 2015, when DSS went and raided APC data centre they were crying. Lai Mohammed shouted that this is the worst thng that had ever happened in the history of Nigeria but today they are justifying this gross, violent violation of fundamental human rights in Nigeria.”

“We want to let the country and the whole world know that we are in a state of siege, what we are experiencing is worse than military dictatorship because during the military regime courts were not invaded to carry out illegal attack. Instead of them to apologize to the nation they were rather justifying the shameless act. We have a moral obligation as citizens to sanitize governance in this country, we must checkmate excesses of public officials.”

On his part, political activist, Deji Adeyanju stressed that mass action was inevitable with the pattern of this current government desecrating the courts.

He said, “Even Abacha obeyed court orders, every dictator in this country obeyed court orders. As a movement and as a people we must stop beating round the bush, President Buhari has not hidden his intentions from day one, he said that national security is second to rule of law and he has demonstrated it. When he disobeyed court order of El zakzaky we all kept quiet, he did it to Dasuki we kept quiet, now he’s doing it to Sowore. DSS never had any plan to release Sowore, they were compelled to release Sowore because Justice Ojukwu was courageous enough to give them 24 hours to comply. Whether we like it or not mass action is inevitable if government refuses to comply with the demands. The ultimatum starts today, they should release Sowore and others.”