A group of scholars and professionals from Nigeria and around the world, have urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to obey court orders and immediately release Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare from detention.
The professionals held that the refusal of the government and the Department of State Services to release Sowore after meeting his bail condition was an indication that the government was determined to continue to hold on to both men for as long as possible.
They also posited that the continued detention of Sowore and Mandate was an egregious injustice and a travesty of the rule of law.
They said, “The charges that the Nigerian Government has brought against Sowore and Bakare are totally bogus and laughable.
“Evidently, both have been targeted by the Buhari administration for their activism in the cause of political freedom and economic prosperity for all Nigerians.
“In the specific case of Sowore, it would seem reasonable to surmise that his continued detention is not unrelated to the vigorous and unsparing criticism of the current administration and the state of affairs in Nigeria by his online newspaper, Sahara Reporters.”
They held that President Buhari was a beneficiary of the gallant efforts of the likes of Sowore to return Nigeria to democratic rule and expand the space for democratic life.
They urged Nigerians from all walks of life and those committed to human liberty all over the world to speak up against this blatant perversion of justice.
They added, “We call on the National Assembly, civil society organisations, and international human rights and political advocacy organisations to put pressure on government to release Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare immediately.
“The continued detention of these two Nigerians – and indeed others who have been granted bail by the courts – make a mockery of our hard-won democratic freedoms.”