SAN, Others Berate Buhari Regime For Attack On Sowore

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Human rights activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria,
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, on Monday said the regime of the
President, Major General Mohammadu Buhari (retd.),
should be held responsible for the attack on a human
rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, who only sought to
exercise his fundamental human rights.
Adegboruwa, who was reacting to reports that Sowore
was injured by a police officer during a protest at the Unity
Fountain, Abuja, said the publisher of SaharaReporters had
been “the target of criminal prosecution on account of his
non-violent campaign for good governance and
accountability.
Sowore was injured by a tear gas canister fired by a police
operative in Abuja.
The politician was preparing to hold a rally with some
associates when the incident happened at the Unity
Fountain in Abuja on Monday.
Footage of the incident showed Sowore falling on the
ground after the canister hit him.
But the FCT Police Command in a statement by the
command spokesperson, Mariam Yusuf, denied that
Sowore was shot, saying there was no record of the
incident.
She said, “Contrary to the speculation, police operatives
professionally restored calm at the Unity Fountain
following attempts by a group of protesters to incite public
disturbance.”
But Adegboruwa in a statement titled, ‘Nothing must
happen to Sowore,’said, “I urge all Nigerians and indeed
the international community to hold the government of
President Muhammadu Buhari responsible for anything
that befalls Mr Sowore on account of the lawful exercise
of his fundamental rights.
“The Unity Fountain is a public place, where other citizens
have held protests in support of the Buhari administration
in recent past, without let or hindrance and even with
police escorts.
“In the period when President Muhammadu Buhari was
leading the opposition politicians, he led several protests
across the country, without anyone shooting at him or
other protesters.”
Adegboruwa also asked the government to leave Sowore
alone and called on protesters to remain peaceful and
uphold the tenets of the law.
Another legal practitioner, Pelumi Olajengbesi, also
condemned the attack on Sowore.
Olajengbesi also made his position known in a statement.
“It is however saddening and indeed condemnable that
such a constitutionally guaranteed movement has been
greeted with a violent and brutal response by the
government who, acting through its police officers,
opened fire on unarmed, peaceful protesters leading to
several serious injuries on citizens, including a fatal wound
on the person of Omoyele Sowore,” he said.
He added, “Without mincing words, I want to reiterate that
the Buhari-led administration will be held responsible and
dragged before the international community should
anything happen to Sowore and indeed all participants in
today’s peaceful protest at the Unity Fountain, Abuja.
“The Nigerian government must do better and be more
mindful of its troubling antecedents as hard of hearing and
failing to distil historical hindsight from the experiences of
the past.”