An aide to the Nigerian president Saturday said Nigerian journalist Omoyele Sowore staged his supposed re-arrest to make the country’s secret police look bad.
Loretta Onochie, infamous for her occasional outbursts against critics of President Muhammadu Buhari, said the court arrest was “planned” by the journalist’s “boys and girls.”
“So it was a stage-managed drama in the court yesterday,” Onochie said in a Facebook post. “Sowore pinned down by his supporters in a courtroom in order to give DSS a bad name.”
Onochie did not present evidence to prove that Sowore faked his arrest.
In a video shared by his Sahara Reporters, Sowore was seen being dragged by several men in an Abuja courtroom. Sahara Reporters said some of the men in the video were operatives of the Department of State Services.
The DSS, which accused Sowore of planning to change the government through unlawful means, is yet to deny arresting him hours after he was released on Thursday night.
“All that is needed for a #Revolution is for the oppressed to choose a date they desire for liberty, not subjected to the approval of the oppressor,” he wrote Twitter on 2 August.
His lawyer Femi Falana said DSS told him the Sahara Reporters’ publisher was needed for questioning on Friday and would be released later in the day.
He accused the secret police of “gangsterism”.
“I can assure you what is happening now will not go away unchallenged,” Falana said.
“We either run this country on the platform of the rule of law or we resort to gangsterism which is what is going on.”
But Nigerian authorities have been less respectful of court orders in this case and in many orders.
Earlier court orders for Sowore’s release were not carried out by the secret police. On one occasion, the DSS said it could only release him to his lawyers.