Sowore: DSS Desecration of Justice Ojukwu’s Court ‘Unacceptable’ Atiku Weighs In

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Nigeria’s former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar has anathematized the desecration of the temple of justice by the men of the Department of State Services (DSS) as they made history in the reverse order while trying to re-arrest Pro-democracy Campaigner, Omoyele Sowore Friday, less than 24 hours after his release.

During the horrendous offensive at the federal High Court in Abuja, armed operatives of the secret service swooped on Sowore and co-defendant, Olawale Bakare (A.K.A Mandate) after Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu adjourned their trial till February 11, 2020.

Though lawyers and supporters of the defendants tried to resist their arrest, armed operatives of the DSS numbering over 100 bundled Sowore and Bakare out of the court premises in a commando style at about 10:45am.

Reacting to the brutish attack on the judiciary, an independent arm of government, Atiku in a statement said: “the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court,” will enter the country’s black books as the first of its kinds.

“Today, I am in extreme anguish of spirit having watched the unfortunate drama that played itself out at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, in which agents of the state caused a commotion in court in order to frustrate a judgment of a court of competent authority.

“Never in the history of Nigerian democracy has a judge been treated in such a disdainful and brazen attack on not just her person and office, but on the entire judiciary. This is unacceptable. It is a rape on the sanctity of the court. Nigeria is not a dictatorship. We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us.

“I call for an immediate inquiry to be set up to identify those responsible for the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court, and indeed the Nigerian judiciary. They must be sanctioned to the highest extent permissible by our laws.

“I further call for all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to immediately respect not just the court order made by Justice Ojukwu, but the order of any court in Nigeria, on any detainee, be it Omoyele Sowore, Sambo Dasuki or Ibrahim Zakzaky, among others.

“We cannot have a situation where our government is quick to obey foreign court orders and even quicker to disobey domestic court orders. This is symptomatic of a mindset that is servile to foreign powers and brutal to Nigerians.

“Without the rule of law, there can be no rule at all. Power in Nigeria still flows from the people, not from the barrel of a gun. I call on all men and women of goodwill not to keep quiet or sit on the fence at times like this.

“To keep Nigeria a democracy is the paramount duty of all concerned stakeholders. Please speak up against this tyranny and side with the Nigerian people,” Atiku said.

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'Dotun Akintomide's journalism works intersect business, environment, politics and developmental issues. Among a number of local and international publications, his work has appeared in the New York Times. He's a winner of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Award. Currently, the Online Editor at The New Diplomat, Akintomide has produced reports that uniquely spoke to Nigeria's experience on Climate Change issues. When Akintomide is not writing, volunteering or working on a media project, you can find him seeing beautiful sites like the sandy beaches that bedecked the Lagos coastline.

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