Amnesty International on Thursday, November 21; warned President Muhammadu Buhari to desist from persecuting the citizenry using the security agents and judiciary.
AI further noted that Buhari uses government agencies, security agents and judiciary; to persecute people “who voice dissenting opinions, challenge abuse and call for accountability.”
“The flawed charges and sham trials of #Sowore, #Jalingo and #Bakare expose the inadequacies; and bizarre manipulation of the #Nigerian criminal justice system and an unacceptable contempt for the rule of law and human rights,” the group added.
Omoyele Sowore, Olawale Bakare and Agba Jalingo have been in detention since August 2019 for expressing views critical of the government.
Sowore, a prominent journalist and political activist; and his co-defendant Olawale Bakare have been in the custody of the State Security Services for over a month.
This is despite a court order granting them bail and meeting the stringent bail conditions.
Sowore was specifically charged with seven felony counts, including treason and the “cyberstalking” of Buhari.
Jalingo, also a journalist, was also granted bail; but his bail has been repeatedly and unjustifiably rejected. He faces charges of treason and terrorism and if convicted, he could face up to life in prison or the death penalty.
Jalingo was arrested from his home in Lagos and was taken to Cross River State after writing a series of articles critical of the Cross River State Government, his home state.
Meanwhile, Buhari felicitated with former President Goodluck Jonathan on his 62nd birthday.
Buhari, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Wednesday; joined the nation in praying for good health and strength for Jonathan to keep serving the nation.
The President rejoiced with family, friends and political associates of the former president; lauding him for good counsels to leaders within and outside Nigeria since he left office; sharing his experience of serving at different levels of governance.
According to him, the former President’s legacy of humility and patriotism will continue to resonate, inspiring generations to come on the sacrifices made for the stability of democracy and promotion of sustainable development.