Forme NSA Sambo Dasuki, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporters
Forme NSA Sambo Dasuki, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and Omoyele Sowore of Sahara Reporters

CAN, SERAP, HURIWA React to Release of Dasuki, Sowore

CAN Praises Release of Dasuki, Sowore

The leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has commended the Federal government for ordering the release of the duo of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Rtd. Colonel Sambo Dasuki and the publisher of Saharareporters, Omoyele Sowore as mandated by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

In a press statement issued Wednesday by the CAN President, His Eminence, Rev Dr Samson Ayokunle, who described the gesture as a Christmas gift to the populace, the cleric said it is a New Dawn for our democracy.

We are very happy with the decision of the Federal government to release the duo of former National Security Adviser (NSA) and the publisher of Saharareporters, Omoyele Sowore as mandated by the Federal High Court, Abuja. We appreciate the Attorney General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice for his intervention and counsel.

The action of the government is commendable and it is a New Dawn for Democracy. As long as the Federal government continues to respect the rule of law and the Constitution, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) will continue to work with the government to ensure that there is peace and stability in the polity. We will not cease to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari and his team for a successful tenure of office. Nigeria should be a pace setter for the continent in everything good, being the giant of Africa in the abundance of human and material resources.

God bless Nigeria.

Thank you very much and Merry Christmas to you all.

Signed

Rev Dr Samson ‘Supo Ayokunle,
The President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and the Nigerian Baptist Convention
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SERAP welcomes release of Sowore, Dasuki, urges Buhari to obey all court orders

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has welcomed the announcement by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari ordering the release of #RevolutionNow protest convener, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and the immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, from custody.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN) today reportedly directed the Department of State Services to release Col. Dasuki and Mr. Sowore from custody.

In a statement by SERAP deputy director Kolawole Oluwadare, the organization said: “This is a positive step by the Nigerian government. We hope that this signals a change in direction in Nigeria towards full respect for the rule of law, tolerance and greater openness by the government that would allow citizens to effectively enjoy their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms.”

The statement read in part: “SERAP has consistently called for the immediate and unconditional release of Sowore, Olawale Bakare and other prisoners of conscience. The President Buhari government should now immediately withdraw all charges against Mr Sowore and Olaware Bakare and all others detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression. They should never have been charged in the first place.”

“We also call for the immediate and unconditional release of journalist Agba Jalingo and all those still detained on bogus charges, having spoken out in favour of greater democracy, freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly.”

“The government cannot continue to pick and choose which court orders to obey. All court orders must be immediately and fully obeyed. It should never be right for the government to selectively obey court orders.”

“The government should have immediately obeyed court orders releasing Sowore, Dazuki and others on bail.”

“The President Buhari government must cease the restrictions on the civic space, respect human rights, and immediately obey all outstanding court orders including at least four judgments obtained by SERAP. The first is the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordering the government to tell Nigerians about the stolen asset it allegedly recovered, with details of the amounts involved.”

“The second judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris, ordered the government to publish details on the spending of stolen funds recovered by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, while the third judgment, by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, ordered the immediate release of details of payments of billions of naira to all defaulting and allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies since 1999.”

“The fourth judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris (as he then was), ordered President Buhari to prosecute senior lawmakers suspected of padding and stealing N481 billion from the 2016 budget. The court also ordered President Buhari to “direct the publication of the report of investigations by security and anti-corruption bodies into the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.”

Kolawole Oluwadare
SERAP Deputy Director
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HURIWA Reacts to Release of Dasuki, Sowore
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group-HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has reacted to the belated order to release erstwhile National Security Adviser Colonel Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) and the Publisher of Saharareporters Omoyele SOWORE from the dungeons of the secret service after years and months of illegal detention against the clear orders of the competent Courts of law that granted multiple bails to the duo and many others yet to be freed political prisoners saying that the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami should be stripped of the title of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria for defending illegality and helping to foster a regime of flagrant breaches of the fundamental human rights of many Nigerian citizens.

“It is a monumental shame that the current Chief Law officer of the Federation Alhaji Abubakar Malami who spent the last five years of his appointment by the President Muhammadu Buhari, defending the indefensible cocktails of illegalities and the wanton display of impunity, lawlessness, vigilante and SELECTIVE administration and enforcement of the laws and the incessant and arbitrary arrests and illegal detention of civil Rights leaders, key figures of the opposition Political party- the Peoples Democratic party under the disguise of fighting corruption which nevertheless has become even more endemic and systemic whilst the President looks the other way and let his party men and official abuse their offices and engage in arbitrariness. The order to release the duo of Colonel Dasuki and the political activist Mr Omoyele SOWORE after prolonged disobedience of multiple Orders of the Court must be punished heavily. We call on the Nigerian Bar Association, the Body of Benchers and all relevant legal regulatory bodies to strip the Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and minister of justice of the high title of Senior Advocate of Nigeria for he has brought shame and global opprobrium to Nigeria with the show of shame of open defecation by his pay master President Muhammadu Buhari on top of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. We ask these illegally detained Nigerians to also pursue claims running into at least N10 billion each for the grave violations of their civil liberties by the current administration. It is a shame that we have a near incompetent Chief justice of Nigeria who has remained silent whilst the judiciary is ridiculed by the lawless executive arm of government. The rebuilding process of the battered judiciary may take years to be completed given the extent of demolition of the independence and the integrity of the judiciary and the Court system by the current government that lacks respect for the constitutionally guaranteed principles of separation of powers.”

HURIWA recalled that the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami has just announced that the Federal Government has ordered the release of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Sambo Dasuki and convener of online #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore.

HURIWA recalled that the the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Abubakar Malami made this public in a statement on Tuesday just as Malami said the decision to release them was in compliance with the bail granted the two by the court.

HURIWA quoted Malami as stating as follows: “The two defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land,” Malami said.

Attorney Ggeneral Alhaji Abubakar Malami’s statement reads:
“The office of the honourable Attorney General of the Federation has reviewed the pending criminal charges against the duo of Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.) and Omoyele Sowore.

“Whilst the Federal High Court has exercised its discretion in granting bail to the Defendants in respect of the charges against them, I am also not unmindful of the right of the Complainant/Prosecution to appeal or further challenge the grant of bail by the court having regards to extant legal provisions, particularly Section 169 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.

“However, my office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts.

“In line with the provisions of Sections 150(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), and in compliance with the bail granted to Col. Sambo Dasuki (Rtd) (as recently varied by the Court of Appeal) and the bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, I have directed the State Security Services to comply with the order granting bail to the Defendants and effect their release.

“The two defendants are enjoined to observe the terms of their bail and refrain from engaging in any act that is inimical to public peace and national security as well as their ongoing trial which will run its course in accordance with the laws of the land.

“I wish to reiterate again the utmost regard of my office for the entire judicial structure of Nigeria.

“This administration remains unrelenting in deepening the rule of law and the administration of justice in general.”

HURIWA however condemned the Federal government for continuously violating the human rights of many Nigerian citizens and for its open disobedience to multiple court orders. The organisation said it would amount to canonizing illegality should Nigerians celebrate the release of these political prisoners rather Nigerians should demand for some forms of sanctions for the Federal Attorney General and minister of justice Alhaji Abubakar Malami under whose watch these illegalities happened. HURIWA has also asked the DSS to release all illegally detained citizens or charge them to court including the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Elzaczacky and his wife.

Emmanuel Onwubiko
Executive Director