Human rights activist and co-convener of the BringBackOurGirls Movement, Aisha Yesufu, has lambasted the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government, saying the country belongs to everyone and no one should be arrested for protesting peacefully.
Yesufu noted that human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, who was arrested on December 31 during a crossover protest in Abuja, has a right to protest every day if the government also continues to be “incompetent, clueless, corrupt and inept.”
Yesufu wrote on Twitter, “Nigeria belongs to all of us. The right Buhari @MBuhari has to be an incompetent, clueless, corrupt, inept and a failed President without being arrested is the right Omoyele Sowore @YeleSowore has to protest every day. No Nigerian is more Nigerian than any Nigerian #FreeSowore.”
Earlier on Saturday, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Femi Falana, who is also lawyer for Sowore, said the police authorities had flagrantly refused his client’s application for bail.
Falana noted that his client had given him permission to sue all the police officers involved in the brutality.
“Since Mr Sowore’s fundamental right to dignity has been recklessly violated by the police, we have his instructions to press for charges against all the officers who subjected him to physical and mental torture in contravention of the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Anti-Torture Act of 2017.
“Sowore, who was covering an event at the time of his arrest, has maintained that he did not breach any of the COVID-19 regulations. He has been detained indefinitely on the basis of orders ‘from above’.
“The police officers who arrested Mr. Omoyele Sowore in Abuja on January 31, 2020, subjected him to severe beating and left him with bruises all over his body. As if that was not enough, he has been locked up in the midst of armed robbery suspects at a notorious detention facility called abattoir maintained by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad in Abuja.
“The physical torture to Mr. Sowore was prolonged by the refusal of the police to provide him with medical attention. Although Mr. Sowore’s injuries are being treated by his personal physician, the police authorities have refused the application of the detainee for bail even though the alleged offence of breaching COVID-19 regulations is bailable,” Falana had said.