Senate keeps mum over court invasion, Sowore’s rearrest as Reps orders investigation

Senate plenary

The Nigerian Senate failed to discuss or condemn Friday’s invasion of a federal court as well as the rearrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, by the operatives of the State Security Service (SSS).

Throughout plenary on Tuesday, no issue concerning the court invasion was discussed.

The House of Representatives, however, mandated its relevant committees to investigate the actions of the SSS.

The House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu, raised the matter, describing the incident as an abuse on the sanctity of the court.

He also said Friday’s court invasion could be seen as an arm of government attempting to overpower another.

Mr Sowore was arrested alongside another activist, Olawale Bakare, on August 3 for planning a protest to call for good governance.

They were charged with treasonable felony, fraud and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari.

The court granted the duo bail twice but the SSS refused to release them until Thursday night.

However, less than 24 hours later, the SSS rearrested them within the federal high court in Abuja, sparking national outrage.

In a bid to justify the action of the SSS, the presidency said Mr Sowore’s call for revolution was aimed at overthrowing the democratically elected government of Nigeria.

Some activists and international organisations have condemned the act and called for the sack of the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Bichi, over the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, and Friday’s invasion of a federal court.

The Nigerian Bar Association have also called for the suspension of Mr Bichi.

The calls for the sack of Mr Bichi is borne from the fact that the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, had in August 2018 sacked the former SSS boss, Lawal Daura, for authorising the invasion of the National Assembly.

Mr Osinbajo took the decisive move as acting president while President Muhammadu Buhari was away in the United Kingdom.

Text messages sent to the Senate spokesperson, Godiya Akwashiki, seeking the reaction of the Senate, were not responded to at the time of filing this report.


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