The Centre for Anti-Corruption and Open Leadership, CACOL (formerly Coalition Against Corrupt Leaders) has condemned the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, Publisher of SaharaReporters on Wednesday by the Police. The Executive Chairman of CACOL, Mr. Debo Adeniran described the role and attitude of the Police as inappropriate and unacceptable.
Adeniran said, ‘This development is reminiscent of the dark days of the Military rule when journalists were hounded, intimated, tortured, harassed, detained and assassinated on regular basis. It is unfortunate that the Police are still living in that age and time, when arbitrary arrests and detentions were the order of the day. And this is in spite of our country being in a democracy.”
‘Let us assume without conceding that Sowore is guilty of the trumped-up charges of defamation, blackmail and threat to life; and if the Police had a petition on the matter, we should ask the Police if previously they had invited the journalist for interrogations? If they did, what was Sowore’s response, that is, did he honour the invitation? If he didn’t, what did the Police do? Where should it be the petitioner that had to carry-out the arrest on behalf of the Police?” Adeniran queried
The news of the arrest of the Publisher went viral yesterday in the Media when he posted online about an attempt on his life at GRA Ikeja. The attack was repelled by some construction workers, but the Police were said have intervened. From the Area F, Police station in Ikeja, Sowore posted that, “after the police intervened” soon as I was attacked by Lekan Fatodu and his friends in Lagos we were taken to the CP’s office in Lagos. Turns out he was in on this, he pulled out a supposed petition written by Lekan from his hat after that he became very hostile towards me and ordered that we be driven to State CID, at Panti in Lagos. It is very obvious that this was planned between Lekan Fatodu and the police.”
“Reportedly, the so-called petitioner was linked to laundering money for Femi Fani Kayode in the infamous arms deal scandal perpetrated under the last regime when money meant for arms were diverted for political campaigns. Therefore motive of this occurrence is not far-fetched.” Adeniran averred
He said “there are two obvious evil machinations in this illegal arrest of Sowore; first is the connivance of the Police in the episode and secondly, but more fundamentally, corruption fighting back voraciously. We all know the impressive role SaharaReporters have been playing in terms of exposing the corrupt elements in and out of government in Nigeria in particular and Africa generally. Sowore is actually a ‘thorn in the flesh’ of oppressors and the kleptomaniacs in our country which is why he is now been hounded. Nigerians must realize this; we must be vigilant as we can all see from this incidence that corrupt elements will go to any level including violence just to kill the anti-corruption mode the country is already in.”
“We demand an immediate halt to the harassment of Sowore, he must not be detained understand this circumstance or any other one unjustly. He must be allowed to enjoy his freedom of expression, movement and all the other fundamental human rights to the fullest!”
Wale Salami
Media Coordinator, CACOL
January 12, 2017
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