“I wasn’t quite surprised that the State Security Service decided to pick Omoyele Sowore up. I wasn’t in anyway surprised because we are under a government that has now come to the conclusion, and a very dangerous one that every criticism, every opposition is treasonable.
Every criticism of the government is now classified as terrorism and those who are behind such opposition will be crushed. I have been in touch with the officials of the state security service service.
Sowore has been held incommunicado for the past two days. He was moved from Lagos to Abuja. We have not been able to locate him. He should be taken to court not later than Monday as far as the law is concerned.
Arrangement has been made in Abuja to get him defended if he is arraigned on Monday. I have read the police statement and I think the extrapolation of the police is quite embarrassing and I’m sure the meaning ascribed to the protest or the revolution is likely to have embarrassed the government.
Because neither under the criminal code or terrorism act is the word revolution criminalized. After the general election in 2015, the APC was proud and happy when it was said that it had led the Nigeria democratic revolution, which unseated the PDP.
In May this year, there was a debate in the National Assembly. The senate debated that a looming revolution in Nigeria was nipped in the bud.
And there candidates during the last election who was asking Nigerians to cause a revolution on the day of election by unseating the APC.
So it is not the word revolution that would lead to a crime in the country. Treason and felony and terrorism are clearly defined under our law. Treason is the levying of war to intimidate the president or governor of a state while treasonable felony is the formation of the intention to remove the president of a country during his tenure otherwise by constitutional means.
I have read the demands of the organisers of this protest and I have not seen any aspect of it that can be classified as treason or any act of terrorism.
In any case, section 39 and 40 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have recognized the fundamental rights of every Nigeria to assemble with others and protest against or for the government.
Incidentally, when Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, another LEADER of the defunct ANPP had their rally in Kano disrupted on September 22, 2003, I was briefed to challenge the action of the police.
And from the Federal High Court to Court of Appeal, we won the case. That was when the court declared the police permit on protest as illegal and unconstitutional in Nigeria.
In fact the law has gone beyond that, by 2015, the national assembly amended the electoral act to defend that the provision of the public order act and other laws in the country during protest, the police shall provide security for the conveners and the participants.
So what is required of the police is to ensure that the protesters are protected. Nigerians have the right to protest for or against the government.
The last protest led by Gen. Muhammadu Buhari was on the 19th of November 2014.where him and other leaders of the APC protested against the insecurity of the country.
So if other Nigerians are protesting against the worsening insecurity in Nigeria and demanding job creation for an army of our unemployed youths. If they challenging the income disparity in the country and if they are asking the payment of the N30, 000 minimum wage and others.
Those demands cannot be classified as mutinous and treasonable. We are not a conquered people. The police and security agents will have to appreciate that we are not a conquered people.
Therefore, you cannot continue to terrorize Nigerians by invoking the provision of terrorism act or criminal code act. We are not going to allow any group of people to abrogate the rights we have won in Nigeria.