Like the presidency, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Sunday defended the State Security Service (SSS) over its treatment of an activist, Omoyele Sowore.
In its first official reaction to Friday’s invasion of an Abuja Federal High Court by SSS officials in a bid to rearrest Mr Sowore, the APC sounded evasive and refused to condemn the secret police.
Rather, the ruling party focused its statement on attacking Atiku Abubakar, who like millions of Nigerians had condemned the court invasion and the rearrest.
The ruling party accused Mr Abubakar, a former opposition presidential candidate, of spreading ‘lies’ about the rearrest of Mr Sowore, an activist and publisher of online news platform, Sahara Reporters.
The party alleged in its statement that Mr Abubakar gave false information to Nigerians about the attack on the court of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court during the invasion.
“Atiku in his horrid statement particularly accused the DSS of attacking the presiding judge among other lies being chorused by the PDP and their hirelings.
“Documentary evidence such as videos and pictures have shown that the tales are a complete ruse until anyone is able to present a contrary evidence,” it read in part.
Journalists who witnessed the incidence reported how the court was thrown into commotion when SSS officials invaded the courtroom in a bid to rearrest Mr Sowore.
The embattled activist was eventually rearrested by the SSS operatives without any official warrant of arrest on Friday.
Also, rights activist and lawyer to Mr Sowore, Femi Falana, said that the leader of the SSS officers, after causing the court to hurriedly end its activities, ‘apologised’ to the judge.
The ruling party in its statement backed the action of the SSS.
The party said the service is constitutionally backed to arrest or rearrest Mr Sowore “over his actions and utterances” at any time.
The party’s statement came hours after the SSS denied invading the court. It accused Mr Sowore of ‘stage-managing’ the violence witnessed in the courtroom.
Earlier, the presidency said in a statement on Sunday that the SSS does not need the president’s permission to carry out its ‘constitutional responsibilities.’
Mr Sowore faces charges of treasonable felony for calling for revolutionary protests against misgovernance.
He had initially been detained for 124 days despite valid court orders for his release. He was later released but rearrested 24 hour later.
The SSS is yet to state the reason for the rearrest.
Read the APC’s full statement here:
Following the recent court drama that greeted the resumed trial of the convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, the PDP and its defeated presidential candidate, Atiku Abubakar have typically chosen to present and spread their concocted “alternative facts” and lies.
The Party will not be drawn into arguements over the powers of the Department of State Services (DSS) to arrest and rearrest Sowore over his actions and utterances. The constitutional mandate of the DSS already addresses that.
Also, the presidency has clarified that the DSS does not necessarily need the president’s permission in all cases to carry out its essential and constitutional responsibilities.
Again, whether Sowore flouted any of his bail conditions or staged the incident in court is another matter which the court and prosecuting agency should address.
Atiku in his horrid statement particularly accused the DSS of attacking the presiding judge among other lies being chorused by the PDP and their hirelings.
Documentary evidence such as videos and pictures have shown that the tales are a complete ruse until anyone is able to present a contrary evidence.
If Atiku’s intervention was sincere, having realized the truth, he has not deemed it proper to apologise to Nigerians for misinforming them on the incident. Instead, he hangs shamelessly on his lies. A commentator has correctly described Atiku as “the king of the bandwagon” in their dubious attempt at painting the APC government bad by all means, have chosen to exercise no restraint whatsoever in spreading falsehood. We would continue to reiterate the need for Nigerians to be wary of these people who are bent on bringing our country down.
The APC, therefore, unequivocally rejects the inciting messages and criminal antics of some individuals and partisans who have embarked on a campaign of calumny against this administration and are calling for a forceful takeover of government.
They are cowards and enemies of Nigeria.
We call on Nigerians to look at the issue of Sowore’s arrest and subsequent trial dispassionately and devoid of the skewed narratives and sentiments being propagated by the likes of Atiku and PDP.
Sowore contested and woefully lost the 2019 presidential election, garnering a meagre 33,953 votes compared to the winner, President Muhammadu Buhari, who polled over 15 million votes. He left the country afterwards and held talks, with pictures to prove, with another wanted secessionist. He returned to the country and openly threatened to lead a violent revolution against a democratically elected government.
Our laws are clear on treason and Nigerians would expect decisive actions from our law enforcement agencies and government. Any attempt to truncate our democracy and threaten our collective peace and safety must and will be resisted using the full weight and instrumentalities of the law.
National Publicity Secretary
All Progressives Congress