SAHARA Reporters publisher and former presidential Omoyele Sowore has embarked on a hunger strike to protest the refusal of the Nigerian authorities to release him despite an Abuja high court granting him bail.
In August, men of the Department of State Security (DSS), picked up Mr Sowore in Lagos as he was planning to organise a series of nationwide demonstrations under the banner #RevolutionNow. In September, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had imposed a N100m bail bond on Mr Sowore while his co-defendant Olawale Bakare got N50m, following charges of treasonable felony levelled against them.
Mr Sowore and Mr Bakare were arraigned on a seven-count charge of treasonable felony, cyberstalking and money laundering. Last month, his lawyers successfully appealed the Draconian terms imposed when he was first detained in August and Justice Ojukwu reduced Mr Sowore’s bail bond from N100m to N50m, while Mr Bakare’s bail was reduced from N50m to N20m.
However, despite Mr Sowore meeting the bail conditions, the DSS have refused to release him from custody and he has decided to protest this by embarking on an indefinite hunger strike. Mr Sowore, who has now been detained for 98 days by the DSS was granted bail twice by the federal high court in Abuja.
Femi Falana, Mr Sowore’s lawyer said: who “Since Thursday he has refused to come down and he has refused to see anybody and this is in protest that his rights are being violated. He has not eaten because the DSS don’t feed him and he is rejecting food from the people who usually take food to him in detention.
“Yesterday, he said he didn’t want to see anyone including the people who take food to him because there is a court order asking for him to be released. This was the second one, so he is protesting it.”