Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has condemned the alleged siege by armed security operatives on the premises of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) and the Lagos office of online media outfit, Sahara Reporters in a bid to stop the planned meeting of ‘Revolution Now’ protesters.
Conveners of the ‘Revolution Now’ movement had on Wednesday planned to continue their agitations for the release of Sahara Reporters publisher Omoyele Sowore and other agitators arrested by security agents for alleged treasonable felony.
But armed policemen, operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and the military laid siege to the CDHR to prevent a breakdown of law and order.
Reacting to the alleged siege, Falana said the government should stop harassing law-abiding citizens.
The popular lawyer noted that Sowore had been held for over 45 days in defiance to a court ruling that granted the DSS 45-day remand.
“In spite of the fundamental rights of the Nigerian people to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression, the police had wanted to disrupt and stop the peaceful meeting of law-abiding citizens to discuss the illegal detention of Omoyele Sowore, Agba Jalingo, Abayomi Olawale and scores of others being incarcerated in various detention facilities in the country.
“Contrary to the order of the Federal High Court that Sowore be detained for 45 days, the DSS has incarcerated him for 47 days.
“Last week, the Federal High Court turned down the application for the renewal of its order for the detention of Messrs Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo for another 14 days.
“In spite of the expiration of the detention order of the two journalists, they are still being held by the police in Cross River State. Mr. Abayomi Olawale, who was arrested on August 5, has been detained for 45 days by the DSS without any court order whatsoever.
“These detainees and scores of others languishing in illegal custody ought to be released forthwith.
“While congratulating the organisers of the symposium for successfully holding the programme at another venue, the harassment of law-abiding citizens cannot be tolerated under a regime that is busy negotiating with bandits and terrorists, bribing them with public funds and granting them amnesty,” said Falana.