Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN) on Monday revealed “the real reason” the Department of State Services (DSS) is prosecuting the convener of RevolutionNow Movement Omoyele Sowore and his activist co-defendant Olawale Bakare.
Falana linked the defendants’ trial to the exposure of corrupt practices that could incite the people against the government, through Sowore’s news medium, Sahara Reporters.
He spoke in Lagos during the public presentation of the third edition of the ‘Compendium of High profile corruption cases in Nigeria’ published by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation.
The book chronicles the country’s biggest corruption cases, some lasting longer than 12 years.
The lawyer criticised The Presidency on Sunday for allegedly justifying Mr Sowore’s treatment by the DSS.
“Sowore called for a revolution to overthrow the democratically elected government of Nigeria.
“He did so on television, and from a privileged position as the owner of a widely read digital newspaper run from the United States of America,” Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson, wrote in a statement sent to The Nation.
But, responding, Falana said: “When we were growing up it was almost a crime, or for those of us who were religious, it was a sin to tell a lie, but when a government uses the apparatus of the State to lie, it becomes a very difficult assignment and so I’ve been very busy all day trying to expose the lies told by the government over the weekend, because nobody can justify the gangsterism that took place in court on Friday.”
Falana was referring to the DSS’ alleged attempted rearrest of Sowore in a Federal High Court courtroom last Friday.
“You can’t be producing books like this, this is hate speech,” he said, praising the HEDA for publishing the compendium.
“…When they are talking of hate speech, it’s not about insulting somebody, it’s about exposing corruption. Exposing injustice in our country, exposing criminality and exposing the massive violations of the rights of our people, that is what they mean by hate speech.
“Hate speech is when you expose corruption and they believe that could incite the people against the government. That’s why they are charging Sowore, it’s not about that protest, it’s about Sahara Reporters.
“Garba Shehu said it yesterday. ‘This guy is not just an ordinary politician, he has a powerful medium.’ He meant Sahara Reporters, so, they felt that if Sowore is allowed to enjoy his restricted freedom, bail, he may still continue to publish Sahara Reporters, so let’s put him in, whether the heavens will collapse or not. That’s what is going on.”
He also revealed that he got accommodation for Sowore and Bakare in one of Abuja’s best hotels with government money following their release on bail last Thursday.
He said he lodged them at the Transcorp Hilton after receiving the N100, 000 fine imposed on DSS’s lawyer by a Federal High Court in Abuja.
He accused the DSS of deliberately prolonging Sowore’s trial and detention by refusing to tender in court its witness statements, adding that the Presidency was also subjecting Sowore to media trial.
Falana said: “But they can’t go on like that indefinitely. If they are unable to go on next time, we are going to ask the judge to strike out the case.
“But you know what the judge did on the (December) 5th?
“The court said because you have failed to serve the document on the defendants, go and pay them N100, 000. Not the DSS, their lawyer. You either handle the case or not. It was their lawyer that was penalised and that is in line with Section 296 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act.
“So, we are making progress. They’ve paid already. In fact, that was the money we used to get an accommodation for them (Sowore and Bakare) in Transcorp Hilton. You know that’s the best hotel in town, I put them there, with the government money.”
Falana, who commended HEDA for the book, described it as a “wonderful compilation.” He challenged Nigerians to go beyond HEDA and own the campaign against corruption.
VIDEO: “Yoruba People Are The Most Primitive Nigerians” — Miyetti Allah
The Miyetti Allah Kautal Hore has stated that despite the achievement of the Yoruba people in terms of education, they are the most primitive Nigerians in terms of political culture.
The Secretary-General of the group, Saleh Alhassan said this when he appeared on Channels Television’s Tuesday morning to talk about the new security outfit created by South West governors, Amotekun.
According to Alhassan, Miyetti Allah as a group sees Amotekun as an extension of OPC which has a history of violence.
“For us, Amotekun that is the Yoruba tribal militia, it is one of the greatest threats of democracy we have now in place because you cannot empower an ethnic militia that has a history of violent crime because essentially what you have as Amotekun is OPC, Oodua Peoples Congress that has a history of heinous crimes and killings and the proponents of Amotekun has not hidden who their targets are.”
When asked to address his recent comment saying the South West might lose the presidency if they do not scrap Amotekun, Saleh said:
“It is not a blackmail. Unfortunately with strong apologies to my South West friends, despite the education of the Yoruba people, they still remain the most primitive in terms of political culture. They are not tolerant to opposition.”
See the video below:
Miyetti Allah said Yoruba’s remain the most primitive in terms of political culture & that Amotekun was set up to target them!. I still don’t understand this type of romance that Channels TV has with these Buhari kinsmen.. pic.twitter.com/jf1jHXReXk
— SAPIOSEXUAL (@Mazimum_) January 21, 2020
BREAKING: Boko Haram Executes Abducted Adamawa CAN Official
The Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Michika Local Government Area of Adamawa State, Lawan Andimi has been killed by Boko Haram terrorists.
Andimi, who was kidnapped by the terrorists in early January was killed on Monday, by his kidnappers, according to veteran Journalist, Ahmad Salkida in a tweet on his handle @A_Salkida on Tuesday.
“To break some news items can traumatize. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday. Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family,” Salkida tweeted.
To break some news items can traumatize. I’m battling with one of such. Reverend Andimi, abducted by #BokoHaram was executed yesterday. Rev. Andimi was a church leader, a father to his children and the community he served. My condolences go to his family. pic.twitter.com/1G9n3RLQjk
— Ahmad Salkida (@A_Salkida) January 21, 2020
A video clip had surfaced days after his abduction in which he was seen pleading with the Adamawa State Governor, Umaru Fintiri to rescue him.
“I have never been discouraged, because all conditions that one finds himself …is in the hand of God. God who made them to take care of me. So, the summary of my speech; I am appealing to my colleagues, reverends, particularly my president, Reverend Joel Billy who is a strong man, a man of compassion and man of love. He can do all his best to speak to our governor, Umaru Jibrilla (Fintiri) and other necessary agents for my release here,” he had said.
Nigerians React As Buhari Is Absent At UK Summit Dinner For African Leaders
As part of activities to mark the UK-Africa Investment Summit which started yesterday January 20th, members of the Royal family led by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince Harry and Princess Kate, hosted a cross section of African leaders who are in the UK for the summit, to a dinner reception.
African leaders including Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo, Rwanda President Paul Kagame, and others were present at the dinner
President Muhammadu Buhari was however not in attendance. He was represented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama.
Reacting to the development, Nigerians have taken to Twitter to ask why their president was not in attendance at the dinner.
Some even insinuated Mr. Buhari might have used the opportunity of being in the UK to do a quick medical check-up.
Below are few photos from the event and reactions that have followed.