The Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA Resource Centre) has asked the Nigerian Government to stop the harassment and intimidation of SaharaReporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore.
The group said Sowore was kept in detention amidst a rash of court orders — none of which guaranteed his freedom in recent past.
It said there were concerns in the human rights circle that in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak, Sowore’s life may be at risk.
Recall that Sowore had raised the alarm over plans by the authorities to rearrest him to a military barracks where he alleged he would be tortured and infected with COVID-19.
Sowore said he had written through his lawyers to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court to inform him of plots by the Nigerian Army to detain him for revealing “classified information on SaharaReporters”.
SaharaReporters had reported that Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, Abba Kyari, tested positive for Coronavirus.
HEDA’s Chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, said the organisation was worried about the fate of Sowore in the light of growing lockdown occasioned by COVID-19 spread.
Suraju said the group was also touched by the recent outcry from Sowore over alleged plans to endanger his life.
Suraju said, “The Federal Government can better guarantee protection for Sowore and other citizens by issuing a stern and clear warning to officials of government to refrain from any form of political or unwarranted arrest of citizens under the current situation.
“At this period of COVID-19 pandemic, this is a difficult moment for Nigerians who are free. For those in detention, their ordeal will multiply.
“They fall into the category of those that would have been vulnerable if in detention. We are worried about precautions taken by the government to protect Sowore and other citizens from repressive actions of government officials.”