February 16, 2024

I deserve apology from Nigerian govt — Sowore

Elections: ‘They lack capacity to do anything right,’ Sowore blasts FG

Omoyele Sowore

By Miftaudeen Raji 

The presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore said he deserves an apology from the Nigerian government for his arrest and detention in 2019.

Sowore stated this in an interview on Arise Television on Thursday.

When asked if he would demand an apology for all he has gone through, Sowore simply said, “This should have come forward with an apology first, not that I’m demanding it. I deserve an apology.

“But what I would do is that I’m not so interested in an apology – I will extract compensation from them in jurisdiction that they have no power to affect a decision like this.”

Recall that the Nigerian government had discontinued its case against Sowore over alleged treason.

Sowore was arrested and detained by Nigeria’s intelligence agency, the Department of State Services (DSS) in August 2019 for calling for a revolution in the country under then-President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

The activist was later released on bail but could not leave the country as part of his bail conditions.

But a Notice of Discontinuance stamped by the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday and signed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) on Wednesday, said the complainant (Federal Government of Nigeria) would discontinue the case.

The notice reads, “By virtue of the power conferred on me under Section 174 (1) (c) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, Section 107 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, SAN, intend to discontinue Charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019.”

Meanwhile, Sowore said many Nigerians did not understand the context of the revolution until he led a protest to call for a revolution in 2019.

He noted that his goal in 2019 was to achieve a complete system change in Nigeria, something that had never happened in any other country.

Sowore said, “I actually was calling for revolution, and I never denied it. There’s only one form of revolution – a change that has never been seen before.

“In the life of any country, that’s what I was calling for. And I told the DSS (Department of State Services) guys the same thing when I was interrogated. It is on record. I told the judge when I came to court.

“When they were charging me, I said I didn’t understand the charges because you cannot prosecute the revolution. So there’s nothing different.

“Guess what? Most Nigerians didn’t know the context of the revolution until then. Five million people searched for the word ‘revolution’ on Google on August 5, 2019. I would have been arrested before the protest and I was surprised that the protest still went ahead across the country.

“An interesting thing now is that it’s no longer a crime to say the word ‘revolution’. Everybody’s calling for revolution.”