Human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, and four others were on Tuesday morning brought before the Magistrates’ Court sitting in Wuse, Abuja.
The activists are standing trial on police trumped-up charges of alleged criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public disturbance.
The activists were brought to court in a Black Maria with handcuffs on their hands – a situation which led to an altercation between the prison officials and their lawyer, Marshal Abubakar.
— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) January 5, 2021
Marshal expressed disappointment over the decision by the prison officials to handcuff his clients like criminals.
The current detention of Sowore is not the first time the activist would be arrested and detained by the Nigerian government.
For instance, Sowore was arrested on August 3, 2019, in Lagos by the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency with a history of repression.
He was moved to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja where he was illegally detained for 144 days despite different court orders for his release.
The DSS accused Sowore of baseless crimes like money laundering. The security agency claimed he was plotting to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari even though it failed to produce evidence to substantiate its claim.
He was subsequently arraigned for treason but had pleaded not guilty. The activist cum journalist was granted bail in November 2020, but part of the conditions restricts him to Abuja.