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Police arraign Sowore, four others over New Year’s eve protest


Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, was arraigned at the Wuse Magistrate Court in Abuja on Monday after he led a peaceful protest against the administration of the President, Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, on New Year’s Eve.

Sowore was arraigned, by the Police, alongside his colleagues; Juwon Sanyaolu, Damilare Adenola, Peter and Kimrere.

He is being arraigned alongside four others by the Federal Government on three charges of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and attempting to incite others.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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The Prosecution, however, alleged that the defendants were arrested on New Year eve with placards calling for a violent revolution against Buhari.

Sowore had earlier before the protest charged Nigerians on Twitter to hold a crossover protest by picking up a candle and a placard showing their grievances against the President Muhammadu Buhari administration.

This is not the first time Sowore will be arrested. He was detained for over 100 days in 2019 for calling for a #RevolutionNowProtest.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International over the weekend asked Buhari to direct the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore, asking him to stop targeting activists and respect human rights.

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The group made the call in a statement demanding the unconditional release of Sowore and other activists arrested by the police on New Year’s Day.

According to the group, arresting Sowore for peacefully exercising his rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly is a violation of the Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and the country’s international human rights obligations.

The group described Sowore’s continued arrest as a matter of concern showing how authorities in the country can go to silence peaceful dissent.

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Amnesty International also called for a prompt, thorough, and effective investigation into allegations of torture and other ill-treatment during the period leading to the arrest of Sowore.

The Police on Friday confirmed Sowore’s arrest.

They said he was arrested for unlawfully gathering at very odd hours.

The Police said Sowore caused tension among residents of Gudu and Lokogoma areas of the FCT and that his arrest was in response to a distress call.