A human rights activist and publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, wore handcuffs when he arrived at the Chief Magistrates’ Court sitting in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja on Tuesday.
Reports had it that the court, presided over by Chief Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello, would hear the bail application by Sowore and four other activists.
Sowore, who appeared alongside the other detained activists, also held a book when he arrived at the court.
We had reported that Sowore, Juwon Sanyaolu, Peter Williams, Emmanuel Bulus, and Damilare Adenola, were on Monday ordered to be remanded in Kuje Correctional Centre by a Magistrates’ Court in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja pending the consideration of their bail applications on Tuesday (today).
They were arrested for holding a protest against bad governance on New Year’s Eve in Abuja and subsequently taken to a police unit infamously known as ‘Abattoir’ in the Lokogoma area of the FCT.
They are arraigned on three charges of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and attempting to incite others.
But the activists have pleaded not guilty to the charges. Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project has sent a complaint to the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention over the detention of Sowore, and four other activists for protesting on New Year Eve.
The organisation demanded the release of the detained activists and a probe into their arrest and detention.
SERAP said, “The detention of Omoyele Sowore and four other activists constitutes an arbitrary deprivation of their liberty because it does not have any legal justification. The detention also does not meet minimum international standards of due process.”