PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Department of State Security to immediately release Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore and former national security adviser Col Sambo Dasuki from custody immediately.
Both men are being detained by the DSS despite having won court orders for their release. In the case of Col Dasuki, he is being prosecuted over corruption charges but on five occasions, a high court has granted him bail but in each instance, he has been immediately arrested by the security forces.
Mr Sowore, who ran for president earlier this year, is being charged with cyberstalking President Buhari after he tried to organise a #RevolutionNow series of protests earlier this year. After he was granted bail, men of the DSS stormed the courtroom where his hearing was taking place to arrest him, forcing the judge to flee for her safety.
Both cases have attracted international condemnation, with the Buhari administration widely criticised for failing to abide by the rule of law. Reeling under the pressure, President Buhari has been forced to order the release of the two men on bail in compliance with the court orders that set them free.
Justice minister and attorney-general of the federation Abubakar Malami, said: “The two defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.”
Final documentation is currently being concluded for the release of the two men at the DSS headquarters in Abuja. Nigeria’s other big political prisoner Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria has not been granted bail, however and remains in custody.