Omoyele Sowore, rights activist and pro-democracy campaigner, has called for the complete exoneration of Ken Saro-Wiwa, a Nigerian environmental activist, who was killed by the Nigerian Government in 1995.
Saro-Wiwa led a non-violent campaign against the environmental degradation of the Niger-Delta region by multinational oil companies such as the Royal Dutch Shell as well as the Nigerian Government’s operations.
In 1995, he was unfairly tried by a military tribunal under the late General Sani Abacha dictatorship for allegedly masterminding the killing of some pro-government Ogoni chiefs, a charge which he denied.
He was then sentenced to death by hanging.
He was killed before he could appeal the trumped-up charges and his death sparked international outrage, leading to the suspension of Nigeria from the Commonwealth of Nations for three years.
Sowore called on the Nigerian Government to declare Saro-Wiwa innocent and eight other activists killed alongside him for simply demanding environmental action on their land.
He said, “25 years ago, Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered by the military junta under Abacha, the current Comptroller General of @CustomsNG, Col. Hameed Ali, sat on the tribunal that sentenced him unjustly to death. Ken Saro-Wiwa was murdered before he could appeal!”
Noo Saro-Wiwa, daughter of the activist, also in a post on Twitter called for the pardon of her father, who she says was innocent of the charges that led to his death.
She said, “25 years ago today, my father #kensarowiwa was murdered by #Nigeria’s government simply for pursuing human rights for the #Ogoni people in the #NigerDelta. The government still hasn’t pardoned him and his eight colleagues. They were innocent men. #pardonkensarowiwa #pardontheogoni9 #Buhari.”