The Global Coalition for Security and Democracy in Nigeria, a group led by former presidential candidate and news publisher Yele Sowore, took to the streets on Monday, August 5 to demand far-reaching reforms by the Nigerian government. The protests branded #RevolutionNow has been met with a clamp down by the government which holds that it represents a threat to usurp a constitutionally elected government. The protest leader Sowore and his members have since been arrested.
So what is happening with the group now?
- Following his arrest on the eve of his #RevolutionNow protests, Sowore’s captors, the Department of State Security (DSS), sought a court order to allow them detain him for 90 days pending investigations. The presiding judge however granted the DSS permission to hold him for 45 days .
- Six persons who took part in the protests were arraigned by the Lagos State Criminal Intelligence and Information Department (SCIID) of the Nigerian Police Force before a Magistrates’ Court in Ebute-Metta on Tuesday. The court has adjourned ruling on the matter to September 26.
- Also arraigned with the six protesters is a 51-year-old lawyer, Mr. Gabriel Ojumah who was allowed bail of N100,000 on self-recognition by the Chief Magistrate.
- Former politics editor of the Daily Trust newspaper, Ibrahim Dan-Halilu was re-arrested by the DSS in Kaduna over his support of the #RevolutionNow protest on his facebook page.
What they are saying:
Femi Falana (SAN), a human rights lawyer and counsel to Sowore, said he hopes that the federal government “will not be stupid” to charge Sowore for treason. “I told him I hope they won’t charge you, because if they do, some of the people in government will be our witnesses,” he said, arguing that the government has no case.
Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress defended the government’s clampdown on Sowore. He said that he supported protests as a “fundamental human right”. He however argued that “it does not include the right to suggest that you want to overthrow a constituted order. No, there is a difference,” he said.