Human rights activist Omoyele Sowore was illegally abducted by Nigeria’s secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) on August 3rd, 2019.
Sowore was arrested for planning #RevolutionNow, a series of protests to demand an end to corruption and better living conditions for all citizens.
Peter Afunanya, spokesman for the secret police, said the agency went after Sowore because he crossed the “red line”.
On September 30, 2019, DSS operatives manhandled Sowore in court for speaking with journalists.
This would begin what has now become a series of attacks on the activist, on court premises.
Nigeria’s DSS has directly, and through hired thugs, attacked Sowore on court premises.
On December 6, 2019, DSS officials, wielding guns, stormed a federal high court, in Abuja, where Sowore had gone to enforce his fundamental rights, to forcefully arrest him.
The judge and court staffers fled the courtroom in the chaos that ensued.
The DSS operatives who had forced themselves into the courtroom, physically assaulted Sowore.
In an interview with journalists in the courtroom, Sowore said the DSS had told him that he would not walk out of its custody alive.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 5, 2021
On February 6, 2021, a police officer who had tortured and broken Sowore’s nose during #CrossOverProtest on January 1 came to court with the same squad to intimidate the activist on the court premises.
On July 26, 2021, the Nigeria Police Force and DSS unleashed violence on Sowore as he arrived at the Federal High Court in Abuja to witness the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
@policeng and DSS unleashed violence on those of us arriving to witness @MaziNnamdiKanuâs trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja yesterday. I was harassed, threatened, brutalised, and eventually arrested for daring to witness this farcical trial. pic.twitter.com/TNwh2SskVy
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) July 27, 2021
On October 21, the DSS also colluded with thugs to attack Sowore in front of the same court after he was denied entry by policemen during Kanu’s trial.
It took the intervention of some journalists covering the event to rescue the activist from his attackers, who had arrived on the scene in vehicles.
But to the surprise of everyone, the security agents including the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) of Federal Secretariat Police Station looked on as the activist was being assaulted.
On December 2, the DSS added to the already swelling list of attacks against Sowore’s liberty on court premises.
Thursday’s attack was not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after Sowore – the latest incident only adds to an already swelling list.
Thursdayâs attack is not the first time the DSS would be mobilising thugs to go after @YeleSowore â the latest incident adds to an already swelling list.#RevolutionNow #FreeNnamdiKanu
FULL VIDEO: https://t.co/drCARXSKBf pic.twitter.com/wShZxAFEM7
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) December 2, 2021
Armed thugs hired by the DSS attacked Sowore as he made his way out of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Immediately they sighted him, the thugs rushed towards Sowore and started throwing stones at the activist and the people with him.
As he navigated his way out of the court premises, the thugs rained several more stones on his car, damaging the shields, windows and some other parts.
Today again, the DSS mobilised thugs to attack and kill me for attending Mazi Nnamdi Kanuâs farcical trial at the Federal High Court in Abuja. They came well prepared, however, we canât be deterred. The struggle continues.#Revolutionnow #BuhariMustGo #FreeNnamdiKanuNow pic.twitter.com/RaSbIUgi6b
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) December 2, 2021
Global human rights body, Amnesty International has since condemned the attack and expressed concerns over the safety and liberty of Sowore.
Amnesty International is concerned for the safety and liberty of Nigerian activist and human rights defender Omoleye Sowore, following todayâs attack by suspected thugs at the premises of the Federal High Court Abuja. pic.twitter.com/Z5oGJ9x4qA
— Amnesty International Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) December 2, 2021
A legal and advocacy organisation, Socio-Economic Rights And Accountability Project (SERAP) also condemned the violent attack on Sowore on December 2.
The attack on Sowore drives home the persistent failure of the Buhari administration to uphold human rights and the rule of law.
Those suspected to be involved in the attack must be immediately arrested and brought to justice. Authorities must end the intimidation of activists.
— SERAP (@SERAPNigeria) December 2, 2021