Former Lawmaker, Hon West Idahosa has condemned the manner with which the convener of the RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, was treated by security operatives on Monday.
Mr Sowere who was brought to the court by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS), on Monday was seen being dragged in while trying to engage with his supporters.
According to Idahosa, who was a guest on Channels TV’s Politics Today, although it was nice for Sowore to have been given the opportunity to make a case for himself, the way he was treated was not acceptable.
“I think it was nice to arraign him so that he can have the chance to make his case before the court and defend himself. But what was not nice to see was the way he was being mal-handled by the security agencies when he tried to explain the reason why he was in court and to make some clarifications.
“I think that was very very uncivilised. Otherwise, the arraignment is in order and he gets a good chance to defend himself and then, of course, subject himself to the due process of the law,” he said.
The former lawmaker also explained that it is not a breach of the law for an accused person to entertain questions or interact with the media while in court.
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“There is nothing that prohibits that and don’t forget that this is a special trial. This is a trial that is political in nature and the accused person is not just an activist but also a politician with a huge followership in the country.
“So, when you have such a situation, you would have to allow some compromise and allow the accused person some level of communication with those who believe in him and those who share his philosophies.. given the fact that he has been held incommunicado for some number of days.
“There was absolutely nothing illegal about making a few statements to the media,” he said.
However, according to him, for those who tried to pull him away, “they would say they have the charge to take custody of him and ensure that he does not take the liberty of being surrounded by his supporters to escape from custody”.
Meanwhile, Vice Chairman of the Buhari Media Group, Aliyu Abdullahi, also reacted to the situation.
When asked if the situation rubs off on the image of the government negatively, he said he doesn’t think it affects the government’s image.
He also explained why he believes the DSS operatives acted the way they did.
“I don’t see what played out in the court today as something that will impact on the generality of the government or on the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“To be honest, these are institutions who are doing their own work, trying to make sure that they function within their mandate.. (that is the DSS). They may also be concerned about what will happen within the confines of the court if he (Sowore) is embroiled with the supporters and things like that.
“It could also be for his own safety because when there is a crowd, you don’t know who is who,” Abdullahi said.
He, however, clarified that he would never advocate for disobedience of court orders.
“All court orders must be and should be obeyed by all institutions, be it the executive or wherever the order falls on,” he said.
But according to him, in some situations, national security may be put above individual interests.
“We live in a practical world and things are not perfect. The government also is not perfect. You have to also weigh in the national security interest, vis-à-vis the individual rights”.
Abdullahi also made reference to the situation involving the leader of proscribed group, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu.
According to him, he was released on bail but later absconded and has proven to be a threat to national security.