Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the February 2019 general election, Atiku Abubakar, on Friday said he experienced “extreme anguish of spirit” while watching the invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by operatives of the Department of State Service.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu was presiding over the court proceedings involving presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 general election, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, when DSS made unceremonious entry and attempted to forcefully remove the activist.
Operatives of DSS had held Sowore for 125 days in what had been described as illegal detention, following his arrest last August on allegation of attempting to forcefully sack the government via his scheduled nationwide #RevolutionNow protests.
Sowore was freed on Thursday evening, but during a court appearance on Friday (today), DSS operatives disrupted court sitting as they attempted to rearrest him.
Taking to his verified Twitter handle @atiku on Friday, Atiku, in a series of tweets, condemned the court invasion, comparing the Nigerian situation to dictatorship.
See the tweets:
“Today, I am in extreme anguish of spirit having watched the unfortunate drama that played itself out at the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, in which agents of the state caused a commotion in court in order to frustrate a judgment of a court of competent authority.
“Never in the history of Nigerian democracy has a judge been treated in such a disdainful and brazen attack on not just her person and office, but on the entire judiciary. This is unacceptable. It is a rape on the sanctity of the court.
“Nigeria is not a dictatorship. We are a democracy, no matter how inconvenient this fact is to the powers that have forced themselves on us.
“I call for an immediate inquiry to be set up to identify those responsible for the maltreatment meted out to Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu and the desecration of her court, and indeed the Nigerian judiciary. They must be sanctioned to the highest extent permissible by our laws.
“I further call for all law enforcement agencies in Nigeria to immediately respect not just the court order made by Justice Ojukwu, but the order of any court in Nigeria, on any detainee, be it Omoyele Sowore, Sambo Dasuki or Ibrahim Zakzaky, among others.
“We cannot have a situation where our government is quick to obey foreign court orders and even quicker to disobey domestic court orders. This is symptomatic of a mindset that is servile to foreign powers and brutal to Nigerians.
“Without the rule of law, there can be no rule at all. Power in Nigeria still flows from the people, not from the barrel of a gun. I call on all men and women of goodwill not to keep quiet or sit on the fence at times like this.
“To keep Nigeria a democracy is the paramount duty of all concerned stakeholders. Please speak up against this tyranny and side with the Nigerian people.”