Sowore: Prosecute DSS men who desecrated court for contempt, NHRC tells FG

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The National Human Rights Commission on Saturday added its voice to the growing condemnations of the operatives of the Department of State Services’ invasion of the Federal High Court in Abuja in their bid to rearrest Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore on Friday.

The commission, in a statement by its Executive Secretary, Mr. Tony Ojukwu, directed all relevant agencies of the Federal Government to arrest and prosecute all the operatives involved in what it called “the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the Federal High Court, Abuja” for contempt.

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Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja who had earlier adjourned Sowore’s trial on charges of treasonable felony, had to flee her court, calling off proceedings for the day when armed operatives of the DSS rearrested the activist barely 24 hours of releasing him and his co-defendant, Adebayo Bakare, from an illegal custody.

The NHRC’s statement warned law enforcement agencies to be law abiding in carrying out their duties, adding that acts of impnity such as the one displayed by DSS operatives  on Friday were capable of uprooting the nation’s democracy.

The statement read in part, “The National Human Rights Commission has watched with dismay the conduct of law enforcement officers in facie curie yesterday Friday, December 6, 2019 at the Federal High Court, Abuja.

“The commission reiterates the need for law enforcement officials to understand that to qualify as law enforcement agents, they must first of all be law-abiding and not be above the law.

“As officials paid with taxpayers money, there is no room for impunity and utter disregard for the constitution.

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“Our democracy is founded on the principle of separation of powers and all citizens including law enforcement officials must understand the implications of that and are enjoined to respect the law and the constitution in the enforcement of the law.

“Accordingly, the commission directs all the relevant agencies of government to arrest and try all law enforcement officers involved in the desecration of the hallowed chambers of the federal high court Abuja on Friday, December 6, 2019 for contempt in the face of the court.

“They should be tried and this should serve as a reminder to all law enforcement agents that they must obey the law in carrying out their law enforcement duties.”

The NHRC insisted that law enforcement agencies “must enforce the law within the law”, adding that ” impunity by law enforcement officials cannot be indulged in our democracy because impunity uproots the very foundation of our constitution and our democracy.”

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