HOODLUMS suspected to be miscreants hired by state security officials attacked and disrupted a peaceful protest organised by a coalition of civil society groups over the continued detention of former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore today.
Sowore, 47, was released on bail on December 5 after spending 125 days in detention when the Department of State Security (DSS) was forced to obey a court order granting him bail. Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the federal high court in Abuja had fined the DSS N100,000 for not obeying her order to release Sowore despite him meeting all the bail conditions.
Left with no other option, the DSS let Sowore go but the following day when he appeared in court as the substantive hearing continued, the security men were waiting for him. Heavily-armed DSS operatives disrupted the court proceedings, drove away Mr Sowore’s lawyer Femi Falana and chased Justice Ojukwu out of the courtroom at gun point.
Since then, Mr Sowore has been held in detention with the Nigerian government facing heavy criticism for refusing to obey a court order. Today, a group of civil rights activists gathered at the National Human Rights Commission in Abuja, to present a letter to the chairman of the commission when they were attacked by the hoodlums suspected to have been hired by the government.
These miscreants descended on one of the coalition leaders, Deji Adeyanju, beating him up mercilessly, as the other campaigners and journalists scampered for safety. Mr Adeyanju, who sustained some injuries, was subsequently rescued from his assailants and is presently being treated at an unidentified hospital.