ATTACK ON FREEDOM: Nigerian police monitoring, continued DSS attacks on Sowore at court premises


Human rights activist Omoyele Sowore has been illegally removed by Nigeria’s Secret Police, Department of State Services (DSS), August 3, 2019.

Sowore was arrested for planning #RevolutionNow, a series of protests to demand an end to corruption and better living conditions for all citizens.

Secret police spokesperson Peter Afunanya said the agency attacked Sowore because he crossed the “red line”.

On September 30, 2019, DSS agents manhandled Sowore in court for speaking with reporters.

This would be the start of what has now become a series of attacks on the activist, on the premises of the tribunal.

Nigeria’s DSS directly, and through hired thugs, attacked Sowore at the courthouse.

December 6, 2019 Armed DSS officials stormed federal high court, in Abuja, where Sowore had gone to enforce his fundamental rights, to arrest him by force.

The the judge and court staff fled the courtroom in the ensuing chaos.

DSS agents who forced their way into the courtroom physically assaulted Sowore.

In an interview with reporters in the courtroom, Sowore said the DSS told him he would not be released from custody alive.

On February 6, 2021, a police officer who tortured and broke Sowore’s nose during the #CrossOverProtest on January 1 showed up in court with the same squad to intimidate the activist on the courthouse premises.

On July 26, 2021, Nigerian police and DSS unleashed violence against Sowore as he arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja to attend the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

On October 21, the DSS also colluded with thugs to attack Sowore in the same court after being refused entry by police officers during Kanu’s trial.

It took the intervention of a few journalists covering the event to save the activist from the hands of his attackers, who arrived on the scene in vehicles.

But to everyone’s surprise, security guards, including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) from the Federal Secretariat Police Station, watched the activist being assaulted.

On December 2, the DSS added to the already long list of attacks on Sowore’s freedom at the courthouse.

Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS has mobilized thugs to attack Sowore – the latest incident only adds to an already long list.

Armed thugs hired by the DSS attacked Sowore as he was leaving the Federal High Court in Abuja.

As soon as they saw him, the thugs rushed towards Sowore and started throwing stones at the activist and those accompanying him.

As he left the courtroom, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the shields, windows and other parts.

A global human rights organization, Amnesty International has since condemned the attack and expressed concerns for Sowore’s safety and freedom.

A legal and advocacy organization, Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) also condemned the violent attack on Sowore on December 2.


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