Protesters in Abuja have called for the release of prisoners of conscience held in various detention centres run by the President Muhammadu Buhari regime.
The prisoners include OmoyeleSowore, Jones Abiri, Dadiyata, Stefen Kegason, Agbo Jalingo, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, among others.
The placards-carrying protesters stormed the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to submit a protest letter, urging the commission to live up to its mandate and defend the rights of all prisoners of conscience languishing in detention.
One of the leaders of the group, Sydney Godwin, said, “You have someone in an illegal detention, you don’t have a charge against him but all you do is media trial. Charge him to court and bring the offences. If Omoyele Sowore is guilty today he should be jailed but the entire Nigerians understand that he is not. So why keep him? It’s against his fundamental human rights.”
He said further, “We just see recently that value-added tax (VAT) has been taken from 5 percent to a despicable rate of 7.2. It is an anti-people. I have been told this morning that I will be paying more charges on bank withdrawals and deposits. These are not policies that are meant for Nigerians. We want a state that work for all but not selected few.”
Another leader of the group, Emmanuel Ejeh, said, “When injustice becomes law, resistance also stands as a duty. This morning we are here to remind ourselves that our sense of history was fixated on imperialism. It is so painful and disheartening that we are still living under imperialist system.”
Responding on behalf of the commission, Director of Corporate Affairs and External Linkages, Lambert Oparah, said the commission would monitor the proceedings of Sowore’s case in court to ensure that due process was followed.
He said that commission would look into the complaints raised in the letter of the group in line with its mandate and ensure that justice is done.