SECURITY agencies declared war on former presidential candidate and Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore today as they stormed an Abuja courtroom where he appeared today and whisked him away after a brutal and vicious struggle.
Sowore, 47, was released yesterday on bail 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 yesterday but today 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.
After several minutes of tension, Mr Falana drove Mr Sowore and his co-defendant Olawale Bakare in his car out of the court premises but DSS operatives pursued them in several vehicles in a hot chase. Earlier, Mr Falana later met with Justice Ojukwu and the DSS lawyer, Hassan Liman, in a bid to resolve the matter, with the judge adjourning the case to February 11 to 13 next year for further hearing.
However, the DSS, who had also hired thugs to organise a protest against Sowore outside the court were not satisfied with this. They chased the car and re-arrested Sowore, who has now been taken to their headquarters in Abuja.
Mr Sowore, arrested on August 3 for calling on Nigerians to demand a better country from the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, appears to be seen as a big threat to the government. The hired thugs, who stormed the Abuja court this morning held placards bearing different inscriptions.
According to them, the DSS should not have released Mr Sowore because he had to pay for what they described as sins. These hired thugs also tried to intimidate Mr Sowore’s supporters, who were also in court to show solidarity with the activist.