The founder and President of the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD), James Akinloye has stated that the Presidential Aspirant of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore, who is currently facing treasonable and other charges in court for calling for a revolution and the overthrow of a democratically elected government, breached his bail conditions only about 24 hours after the Department of State Services had released him following a court order to do so.
Akinloye James in a statement on behalf of his organisation, stated that Omoyele Sowore had addressed a crowd of protesters rallying support for him, and also addressed the press in the court room where he had just appeared, noting that these were in contravention of the bail conditions Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had given to him.
Some of the conditions include that, his sureties must deposit tax clearance certificates for the last three years, including documents showing ownership of landed properties in Abuja, also that Sowore must remain in Abuja till the case is determined, he was also not to participate in any form of protests, and also barred from speaking to the press till the determination of the case.
“For whatever reasons the DSS was compelled to re-arrest Omoyele Sowore, and we are very sure there are many, one reason is obvious and stands out: he breached his bail condition that barred him from speaking to the press and participating in any form of rallies, only hours after he had been released on bail.
“Another striking issue on this matter is the erroneous criticisms that followed the would-have-been-silent re-arrest of the AAC Presidential candidate. Many who threw their opinions to the media space criticised the DSS for rearresting him within the premises of the courts and some went as far as claiming that he was arrested by gun wielding officers who chased a sitting judge away.
“This turned out to be untrue. Several videos were published online showing the entrance of the accused, his running back into the court premises, his exit alongside his lawyer and his eventual being driven away by his lawyer supposedly to the DSS Headquarters.
“But it seems many had been quick to comment before taken a cursory look at the facts, the clear videos and the chronological play of events. Including some media outlets, foreign platforms, and even a US Senator, who were quick to put out half-baked opinions and criticisms on this issue without taking a second look.
“It fortunately for the DSS turned out that there was no DSS officer in the vicinity where Sowore was seen to be heckled – it was his supporters who had made the show.
Akinloye James also stated that Nigerians and other commentators who were quick to criticise the DSS had done so in the heat of passion which may have been borne out of the memories of what the DSS had done in previous regimes.
“The DSS seems to have fallen into the trap of its past. Those who have not forgiven nor forgotten about its actions in past regimes believed the lies that were sold that it had re-arrested Sowore in the court premises. Without verification of the videos, they threw their weight behind fake news and vilified the service.
“The critics fell short of expected wisdom when they they jumped on the published videos and began insulting the DSS and the President Buhari administration without even taking a clinical look at the videos of the so-called heckling of Sowore, that had no presence of any DSS official around, or in the court room in fact.” ISD said.
The Initiative to Save Democracy went further to add that: “Curiously, many of those who had come for the jugular of the DSS in the wake of the videos coming online and the narrative that the DSS had rearrested Sowore in the courtroom, once the true position came to the fore that it was all fake news, refused to retract and apologise for their wrong criticisms dished to the nation’s Department of State Services.”
The group called for circumspection on issues before comments are made, stating that “fury must not be allowed to trump good judgment especially in sensitive matters as this.”