Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has criticised the Muhammadu Buhari administration over the charges of treasonable felony and other counts filed against the detained Convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore.
Professor Soyinka condemned the government’s action in a statement personally signed by him and forwarded to Channels Television on Saturday.
After weeks of detention in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), the government filed seven counts charge bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering against the Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and former presidential candidate of African Action Congress in the 2019 general elections.
A Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation at the Federal Ministry of Justice, Mr Aminu Alilu, signed the charges on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami.
The charges were filed on Friday, a day before the expiration of the detention order of the Federal High Court in Abuja which permitted the DSS to keep Sowore for 45 days.
Professor Soyinka, who had earlier warned the government against the use of force to clampdown on citizens exercising their fundamental human rights, said the government “has indeed attained an unprecedented level of paranoia.”
He explained that he initially thought the news of the charges filed against Sowore was fake, stressing that he does not expect those who filed the charges to believe them.
Read the full statement below:
This is utterly depressing news. So, the Sowore affair has moved beyond harassment and taken on a sinister direction.
Outside the country where I happened to be engaged at the moment, I can testify that the immediate reaction around me was to dismiss this as yet another grotesque product of Fake News, of which Nigerians have become the greatest practitioners.
I confess that I also joined in this school of thought – at the start. Further checks have, however, confirmed that this government has indeed attained an unprecedented level of paranoia.
I do not believe that the Justice Department itself believes in these improbable charges, as formally publicised.
So, once again, we inscribe in our annals another season of treasonable felony, History still guards some lessons we have yet to digest, much less from which to learn.
Welcome to the Club, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.