Activist alleges SSS offered bribe to stop Sowore protests

Deji Adeyanju
Deji Adeyanju

A political activist, Deji Adeyanju, has accused the State Security Service of offering him a bribe to shelve a protest demanding the release of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore.

Mr Adeyanju on Tuesday in Abuja displayed N1 million cash he said was offered to him by agents of the SSS.

The activist led several other protesters to the headquarters of the SSS in Abuja on Tuesday morning. The demonstrators have been asking the SSS to comply with a federal court order for Mr Sowore to be released from custody.

Mr Sowore was last month granted bail by the Federal High Court in his ongoing trial for alleged treason and defamation of President Muhammadu Buhari. He met the stringent bail conditions on November 6, but the SSS has declined to release him.

Mr Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana, said the SSS had been plotting to file additional charges against Mr Sowore in order to continue justifying his remand in custody, which he declared as effectively illegal since Wednesday when he met all conditions.

After SSS controversially claimed on Friday that it was holding Mr Sowore because no one had come to pick him up, Mr Adeyanju held a sit-in outside its headquarters on Saturday to demand Mr Sowore’s release, but the secret police ignored the protesters. PREMIUM TIMES also confirmed Saturday that the SSS was not ready to release Mr Sowore, contrary to what it wanted the public to believe.

‘Bribe at gunpoint’

On Tuesday, as businesses resumed across the country following a public holiday, Mr Adeyanju returned with activists to demand SSS compliance with the court order.

Yemi Adamolekun of Enough Is Enough was also seen in pictures of the demonstration circulated on social media.

Shortly after the demonstration began, Mr Adeyanju displayed new N500 notes he said totalled N1 million before other protests and media cameras.

He said the money was offered to him by the SSS at gunpoint to call off the protest. PREMIUM TIMES could not immediately verify links between the cash Mr Adeyanju displayed and the SSS.

A spokesperson for the SSS, Peter Afunanya, did not return PREMIUM TIMES’ request seeking comments about Mr Adeyanju’s allegation.

The protesters, who gathered at about 11:30 a.m., were dispersed by armed officers shortly thereafter.


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