Following the arrest of Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of SaharaReportes and led convener of #RevolutionNow, his driver has come out to provide an eye witness account of how he was arrested by the Nigerian security agency – the Department of State Services (DSS).
The activist publisher had posted a tweet on his arrest at 1:25am on Saturday. In a social media post, the driver, who refused to disclose his identity, said Sowore was picked up in a “gestapo manner”. At around past 1a.m., the armed men knocked on the door. I noticed immediately that these knocks were strange. And didn’t open. I looked and I saw men armed to the teeth,” he wrote.
“They started forcing their way in like armed robbers. But I knew they were DSS men, knowing fully well the attention RevolutionNow has garnered. Sowore wanted to open at first but I immediately told him who they are. He retreated and like magic, he was not in the room when they forced their way in- 8 of them in total.
“That was when he managed to tweet. By this time, I had been beaten and handcuffed. Phones were snatched from me. An order to block all exits came from the leader when Sowore was not found inside. He was later arrested at the gym in a gestapo manner and dragged after a bit altercation,” he stated.
He also explained how he had rushed to pick Sowore’s car when the cuffs were off his hands, but security operatives later threatened to shoot him for trying to prevent Sowore’s arrest. Again he said, “I quickly seized that opportunity to drive his car (I drive him) to block their Toyota Sienna and Hilux but they hit the Lexus Jeep like kidnappers would do to make way for themselves.”
Meanwhile, the calls for the release of Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the last general election is getting louder since the news of his arrest broke. The DSS arrested him at his Lagos home in the early hours of Saturday. The National Legal Adviser of AAC, Mr. Inibehe Effiong said that Sowore was arrested for planning a protest.
This is not the first time, Sowore, who is a former Student Union President of the University of Lagos (UNILAG), has been arrested by government agencies. It is left to be seen if the government would release him before his planned August 5 mass protest, which from all indications is putting the government under pressure.