Allege Police Brutalisation of Sowore Sparks Protest

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Festus Akanbi

Following yesterday’s reported arrest of human rights activist and publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, along other activists allegedly by the police in Abuja, some Nigerians, including his colleagues, have shifted the battle to Twitter, alleging brutalisation of the arrested activists.

SaharaReporters reported that Sowore and other activists were arrested while carrying out a peaceful procession to mark the New Year. The activists were almost done with their crossover procession when about seven loaded vans of the Nigerian security forces swooped on them, brutalising everyone at sight.

The publication adds that eyewitnesses said police officers suspected to be the Rapid Response Squad stormed Gudu junction in Abuja, wounding Sowore before whisking him away with other activists from the location.

They were taken to Abattoir police station of the allegedly disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit in Abuja, where they are allegedly being tortured and detained.

Journalist/activist Oluwatosin Adeniji tweeted: “UPDATE: It has been confirmed that @PoliceNG abducted @YeleSowore and a few others. They were mortally injured and are currently at a police station called Abattoir in Abuja. #FreeSowore #Jan1st.”

She added: “@YeleSowore complained of nose bleeding when I spoke with him. He wasn’t sounding great. @PoliceNG nothing must happen to him and the others #FreeSowore.”

Another Nigerian, UsmanJamiuOpeyemi tweeted, “Buhari’s first gift to us this year is arresting Sowore alongside other activists. We will never be tired as we will soon overcome.”