The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has arraigned human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, and his colleagues before the Wuse Magistrate Court.
Naija News had reported that Sowore and his colleagues; Juwon Sanyaolu, Damilare Adenola, Peter, and Kimrere, were arrested last week Friday for leading a peaceful protest on New Year’s Eve.
But on Monday, Sowore and his colleagues were arraigned despite calls from global and national rights groups condemning the arrest and detention of the activists.
A human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, on Saturday, noted that Sowore has directed him to sue the Nigeria Police Force for torture.
The Senior Advocate noted that the former presidential candidate was badly beaten and subjected to dehumanising conditions in contravention of the Anti-Torture Act.
“Since Mr Sowore’s fundamental right to dignity has been recklessly violated by the police we have his instructions to press for charges against all the officers who subjected him to physical and mental torture in contravention of the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Anti Torture Act of 2017,” he had said.
He further stated that the Nigeria Police are holding Sowore for alleged breach of COVID-19 protocols but had denied him bail for two consecutive days even though the law says such offences are bailable.
Falana further stated that his client had pointedly told the police that he had not breached COVID-19 protocols.
He had said, “Mr Sowore who was covering an event at the time of his arrest has maintained that he did not breach any of the COVID-19 regulations. He has been detained indefinitely on the basis of orders “from above.”
The lawyer said his client had been tortured and locked up in a detention facility along with armed robbery suspects.
Falana added, “The police officers who arrested Mr Omoyele Sowore at Abuja on January 31, 2020, subjected him to severe beating and left him with bruises all over his body. As if that was not enough he has been locked up in the midst of armed robbery suspects at a notorious detention facility called abattoir maintained by the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad in Abuja.”
“The physical torture to Mr Sowore was prolonged by the refusal of the police to provide him with medical attention. Although Mr Sowore’s injuries are being treated by his personal physician, the police authorities have refused the application of the detainee for bail even though the alleged offence of breaching COVID-19 regulations is ‘bailable’.”