A frontline Civil Rights Advocacy group- HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) has condemned as atrocious and a well-coordinated plot to destroy democracy and constitutionalism, the reported re-arrest of the Publisher of Saharareporters Omoyele SOWORE by the operatives of the Department of State Services, DSS.
HURIWA said the desecration of the Temple of Justice is an affront on the principle of rule of law and a desecration of the Nigerian Constitution even as the Rights group challenged all Nigerians to wake up and smell the coffee before this democracy collapses because what happened in court is a total breach of section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria of 1999 (as amended) which states that:”(1) The judicial powers of the Federation shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established for the Federation. (2) The judicial powers of a State shall be vested in the courts to which this section relates, being courts established, subject as provided by this Constitution, for a State. (3) The courts to which this section relates, established by this Constitution for the Federation and for the States, specified in subsection (5) (a) to (1) of this section, shall be the only superior courts of record in Nigeria; and save as otherwise prescribed by the National Assembly or by the House of Assembly of a State, each court shall have all the powers of a superior court of record. (4) Nothing in the foregoing provisions of this section shall be construed as precluding:- (a) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly from establishing courts, other than those to which this section relates, with subordinate jurisdiction to that of a High Court; (b) the National Assembly or any House of Assembly, which does not require it, from abolishing any court which it has power to establish or which it has brought into being. (5) This section relates to:- (a) the Supreme Court of Nigeria; (b) the Court of Appeal; (c) the Federal High Court; (d) the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (e) a High Court of a State (f) the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (g) a Sharia Court of Appeal of a State; (h) the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja; (i) a Customary Court of Appeal of a State; (j) such other courts as may be authorised by law to exercise jurisdiction on matters with respect to which the National Assembly may make laws; and (k) such other court as may be authorised by law to exercise jurisdiction at first instance or on appeal on matters with respect to which a House of Assembly may make laws. (6) The judicial powers vested in accordance with the foregoing provisions of this section – (a) shall extend, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, to all inherent powers and sanctions of a court of law (b) shall extend, to all matters between persons, or between government or authority and to any persons in Nigeria, and to all actions and proceedings relating thereto, for the determination of any question as to the civil rights and obligations of that person; (c) shall not except as otherwise provided by this Constitution, extend to any issue or question as to whether any act of omission by any authority or person or as to whether any law or any judicial decision is in conformity with the Fundamental Objectives and Directive Principles of State Policy set out in Chapter II of this Constitution; (d) shall not, as from the date when this section comes into force, extend to any action or proceedings relating to any existing law made on or after 15th January, 1966 for determining any issue or question as to the competence of any authority or person to make any such law.”
HURIWA said the re-arrest of Omoyele Sowore, convener of RevolutionNow Movement at the Federal High Court, Abuja is another in the series of open and orchestrated plot to undermine democracy by the current President Muhammadu Buhari led administration to destroy the independence of the Judiciary, institute a police state and ultimately destroy constitutional democracy to make way for the emergence of a single party state and totalitarianism.
“What took place at the premises of the Federal High Court could be likened to a scene in the Nollywood movie but unfortunately it was in real life and beamed to millions of people in the World because as seen and witnessed by Millions of Nigerians including video evidence circulated from the venue of the show of shame by the DSS at the Federal High Court Abuja it emerged that as at the time of the attempt to re-arrest him(SOWORE), police, journalists and others present in court threw themselves on Sowore, thereby preventing the heavily armed security personnel from picking him up just as Sowore could be seen on the floor inside the courtroom saying, “They have surrounded the place. We will sleep here today just before the DSS reportedly invaded the court room and chased away the judge reportedly and whisked away the Nigerian citizen SOWORE who is on bail. It is tragic that this coup against democracy by the DSS is coming less than a day after he was released by the DSS after an Abuja Federal High Court ordered for his release within 24 hours. Recall that Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu also ordered the DSS to pay the sum of N100, 000 to Sowore, for refusing to release him on bail despite two court orders to that effect and the judge consequently adjourned the trial of the case brought against them by the Nigerian Government until December 6 for continuation. This gross human rights abuse of the human rights of Mr. Sowore started long ago even as he has been in custody of the DSS after the political activist was arrested for allegedly calling for a civil mass action to change the bad tides afflicting democracy in Nigeria and he has been in detention for over 3 months. Nigerians must see this as a violation of the SUPREME LAW OF THE LAND DEMANDING MASS ACTION UNDER THE BOUNDS OF THE LAW as allowed by the Constitution to show national sense of outrage and righteous indignation “.
HURIWA has therefore urged Nigerians to speak out and defend democracy before it is late. “We condemn this brazen display of executive and security rascality by the DSS and we believe that only Nigerians with the help of WORLD LEADERS CAN SAVE DEMOCRACY FROM THE IMMINENT DEATH.