The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), has welcomed decision by Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordering the immediate release of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, from the custody of the Department of State Service as “a victory for the rule of law, human rights and judicial independence.”
SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, who stated this in a statement issued on Tuesday, said It’s a huge relief that Sowore will be freed and can finally return to his family and journalism work, adding that “he should never have been detained in the first place.”
The statement read in part: “The Nigerian authorities should now withdraw all the charges against him and allow freedom of expression and media freedom to flourish. It’s good for everyone.
“The Nigerian authorities now have to fully comply with this ruling by immediately releasing Sowore. The decision is a timely reminder of Nigeria’s constitutional and international obligations to protect journalists, activists and Nigerians in general, and to put a stop to its current practice of restricting the civic space.
“We hope this decision will make the Nigerian authorities and state governors stop and reflect on their ongoing crackdown on freedom of expression and media freedom including online, and also help to put an end to other human rights violations of journalists and citizens in general. Other journalists like Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo currently being detained, must be immediately and unconditionally released.
“If a court found it possible to release Sowore, we are sure that all the circumstances were studied, and an objective decision was made.”
It would be recalled that SERAP had on Saturday sent an open letter to the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abukabar Malami (SAN), urging him to use his position “to enter a nolle prosequi and discontinue the prosecution of the Convener of ‘RevolutionNow’ protest and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare.”