Human Rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has accused President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government of Nigeria of human rights violation, stating that a government that negotiates with bandits and terrorists shouldn’t harass law-abiding citizens.
Falana stated this while reacting to the invasion of the secretariat of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and also the Civic Media Lab.
This online news platform had reported earlier that security operatives in a coordinated exercise, laid siege to the offices of Sahara Reporters and the CDHR in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial city.
In August, the Department of State Services (DSS) arrested Falana’s client and publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore, the candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 presidential election was accused by the DSS of threatening the public peace with his planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest.
The DSS was subsequently granted an order to detain Sowore for 45 days but the Nigerian secret police detained the online publisher more than the stated time.
Apparently displeased with the development, Falana in a statement on Wednesday, condemned the detention of his client and a few others.
Falana said: “This morning (yesterday), the Nigeria Police Force invaded the secretariat of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights and sealed off the place in Lagos.
“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 should be detained for 45 days, the Department of State Services 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 Agba Jalingo and Ekanem Ekpo for 14 days.
“In spite of the expiration of the detention order of the two journalists, they are being held by the police in Cross River State.
“Mr. Abayomi Olawale, who was arrested on August 5, 2019, 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.”