Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Nigeria #RevolutionNow leader held under terror laws

By Dooshima Abu

A Nigerian court has granted the country’s secret police permission to detain the organiser of planned #RevolutionNow protests for 45 days.

Omoyele Sowere
Omoyele Sowere

Omoyele Sowere was arrested on Saturday accused by the authorities of calling for the government’s overthrow.

The nationwide protests – which were to demand an end to insecurity in the country, where kidnappings for ransom are rampant – did not go ahead on Monday, except for some scuffles between the security forces and a few demonstrators in Lagos.

By law, the pro-democracy campaigner should have been charged after 48 hours, but on Tuesday the Department of State Services (DSS) applied for permission to hold Mr Sowere for longer so that it could investigate the matter further.

On Thursday, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ruled he could be held under terrorism laws: “The nature of offence of terrorism which involved the use of force, is a clear affront to the peace of the society.”

He added that the DSS was at liberty to apply for renewal after the 45 days, to continue its investigations.

The DSS presented video evidence in court that showed Mr Sowore with Nnamdi Kanu – the leader of a banned secessionist group – and other footage of him urging Shia members to join forces with the Revolution Now protesters.

Last week, a pro-Iranian Shia group was banned by the government, accused of of unleashing violence and being an “enemy of the state”.

Mr Sowore is the founder of the popular online paper Sahara Reporters and stood for president in February, coming 10th out of more than 70 candidates. BBC News