Nigeria: Court Invasion - Human Rights Commission Demands Prosecution SSS Officials

Omoyele Sowore was rearrested in court by agents from the Department of State Security (DSS) the day after he was released on court order.
7 December 2019

The National Human Rights Commission has called for the arrest and prosecution of all the security officials who invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday to rearrest Omoyele Sowore and his co-accused, Olawale Bakare.

The commission's reaction came on Saturday in a statement by its Director Corporate Affairs and External Linkages, Lambert Oparah.

The SSS on Friday rearrested Mr Sowore within the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja a day after he was released from their custody.

Messrs Sowore and Bakare were released on Thursday night on the order of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu having spent 124 days in SSS custody.

Officials of the SSS forced their way into the courtroom and rearrested him a day later.

In its statement on Saturday, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu, cautioned that "law enforcement officials must not be above the law."

"The National Human Rights Commission has watched with dismay the conduct of law enforcement officers in facie curie yesterday Friday 6th Dec 2019 at the Federal High court Abuja and reiterates it's earlier statement emphasising the need for law enforcement officials to understand that to qualify as law enforcement agents, they must first of all be law-abiding and not be above the law," Mr Ojukwu said.

Mr Ojukwu said officials who are being paid with taxpayers money, "cannot indulge in impunity and utter disregard for the constitution."

"Our democracy is founded on the principle of separation of powers and all citizens including law enforcement officials must understand the implications of that and are enjoined to respect the law and the constitution in the enforcement of the law," he said

"Accordingly, the commission directed all the relevant agencies of government to arrest and try all law enforcement officers involved in the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the Federal High court Abuja on Friday 6th Dec 2019 for contempt in the face of the court," the statement added.

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