The Online Publisher Association of Nigeria (OPAN) has condemned the arrest of the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Security (DSS) and demands his immediate release. In a statement Sunday, which was co-signed by OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah and Daniel Elombah, OPAN General Secretary, the online Publishers’ association urged the DSS to immediately charge Mr. Sowore before a competent court if it feels the journalist and activist-cum politician has broken the law of the land.
Nigerian security agents arrested Sowore, who was calling for revolution, the security agency said on Sunday. “Detaining Sowore indefinitely without access to his lawyer or charging him to court is crude, undemocratic, brazen and draconian. He should be freed immediately or charged to court if indeed the state has a case against him,” OPAN President, Austyn Ogannah said in the statement.
OPAN maintained that the right of Sowore, any other person or group to protest against the federal government is guaranteed by the constitution of federal Republic of Nigeria, and warned against trampling on the clear provisions of the Nigeria Constitution, particularly section 40 of 1999 Constitution which protects the right of every Nigerian to stage peaceful protests.