Nigerian operatives fired live bullets to disperse protesters demanding the release of a journalist turned politician at a sit-in in the capital Abuja on Tuesday.
Scores of protesters had gathered at the offices of the Department of State Services, DSS, demanding the release of Yele Sowore, publisher of the Sahara Reporters news website.
A court in August allowed the state to hold Sowore for a 45-day period half of the 90-day duration requested by the spy agency. He was arrested earlier in the month after he spearheaded a political protests dubbed “Revolution Now.”
Officers of the DSS arrested him and detained him despite two court orders granting him bail. There has been a huge push by activists and human rights groups demanding his release.
At a point, the rather high bail bond was what thwarted his release on bail but after the conditions were revised and met, the DSS was reported to have said that no one had come to receive him despite the court order.
–@YeleSowore has been granted bail twice
-DSS refused the 2 orders to release him
– A protest was planned to ask questions
The road was blocked!!!!
This tells a lot of story in terms of what @nigeriagov human right record really is all about#FreeSowore #OccupyDSSAbuja pic.twitter.com/0V31MSrqbs
— EiE Nigeria (@EiENigeria) November 12, 2019
The treason charges that he faces has been ridiculed by Nigerians who insist that the call was not to overthrow the government but to push the government to act on the country’s many challenges especially ob security and the economy.
But prosecutors told the court that Sowore’s #RevolutionNow” campaign was aimed at removing the President and Commander–in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria through unconstitutional means.
The accused was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the last general election, and has been in custody of the DSS, since August 2.