Sowore

Sowore: Canterbury Archbishop Replies SERAP, DSS Alleges Threat

The office of the Archbishop of Canterbury says it has noted the concerns raised by Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project on the continued detention of #RevolutionNow protest convener, Omoyele Sowore, and Bakare Olawale, by the Department of State Services, despite the fact that the two men have been granted bail by the court.

SERAP’s Deputy Director, Kolawole Oludare, said the group received an email from the Chief Correspondence Officer at the Lambeth Palace, Dominic Goodall.

The email was in response to SERAP’s call last week on the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. Justin Welby, to “use his good office and leadership and his friendship with President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on him to obey court orders most recently involving activists Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, who remain in detention despite a court order for their release.”

Acknowledging SERAP’s open letter, Goodall said the archbishop was unable to “respond personally in detail.”

He said, “Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and concerns on this matter, which have been noted. Please be assured that I will communicate your concerns to the archbishop and his staff team, so that they are aware of your concerns. Thank you again for taking the time to write.”

Oludare said SERAP “is delighted that our letter and the concerns that it raised have caught the attention of the archbishop.”

He said, “Given his public record for justice and human rights, we have absolutely no doubt that he will prevail on President Buhari to obey not just the court order for the release of Sowore and Bakare but all court orders.”

Meanwhile, the DSS has claimed that some of its operatives have received death threats for doing their jobs but said the operatives will not be deterred in the discharge of their functions.

Spokesperson for the DSS, Dr Peter Afunaya, said this while briefing newsmen in Abuja on Tuesday.

He said, “We have continued to receive various threats on our personnel. Threats about how they will be mobbed on the streets, how they will be physically attacked, killed and given treatment they would live to regret.”

On the continued detention of the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Omoyele Sowore, despite court order, he said the service would only release him to those who stood as sureties in court after proper procedure which included documentation.

Afunaya said, “People who should take Sowore and do proper documentation have not come up until now. Protesters and some people who were not parties (to this matter), who are unqualified to stand and document properly and take responsibility that Sowore has been released to them, came.

“Is it the right thing for us to have released Sowore to a mob, people who came and became unruly and trying to force themselves into our facility?”

But human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), described as childish and disgraceful the claim by the Department of State Services that #RevolutionNow protest convener, Omoyele Sowore, could be knocked down by a vehicle if released.

“In view of the claim of the DSS that Mr Sowore could be knocked down by a moving vehicle if left alone, I offered to drive him out of the headquarters of the DSS. But my request was turned down since the DSS has been playing to the gallery in a rather puerile manner.

“I have decided to report the misconduct of Dr Afunanya to the appropriate agency of the Federal Government for giving false information to members of the public,” Falana said in a statement.

 

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