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How US Congress Influenced FG’s Decision To Order The Release Of Sowore, Sambo Dasuki



The Congress of the United States of America played a significant role in the decision of the Federal Government of Nigeria to order the release of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Alhaji Sambo Dasuki and the leader of #RevolutionNow, Mr. Omoyele Sowore.

In a letter addressed to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami, the US Congress specifically urged the Nigerian government to release Omoyele Sowore.

The letter dated 20th December, 2019 was signed by some US Senators and Members of Congress including Senators Robert Menendez, Charles E. Schumer and Christopher A. Coons.

Others were Senator Cory A. Booker and members of Congress, Bill Pascrell Jr and Josh Cotheimer.

The Congressmen stated in the letter that they were deeply concerned that established legal procedure and the rule of law were not being followed in the case of Omoyele Sowore.

They observed that the Nigerian court twice ordered Sowore’s release after he met the terms of his bail, but that the Nigerian Department of State Security (DSS) refused to comply with these orders until December 5th.

“We are also told that the very next day he was rearrested, while appearing in court for what was supposed to be the beginning of his trial.

“Disturbing videos of a melee in court are circulating, which appear to show armed agents in the court, and Mr. Sowore being placed in a choke hold after which he was re-detained by DSS, though no new charges have since been filed to justify this re-detention. We understand that his case has since been placed within your purview,” the letter read.

The lawmakers stated further that they were pleased to stand alongside Nigeria as a democratic country.

They added in the letter that as the largest democracy in Africa, Nigeria has an opportunity and responsibility to serve as a model for following the established rule of law under it’s own constitution.

They stressed that as with all advanced democracies, this included the lawful application or prosecutorial powers and actions as well as the ultimate compliance with judicial rulings.

“in the case of Mr. Sowore’s re-detention, this does not appear to have happened.

“Under President Muhammadu Buhari’s and your leadership, Nigeria must work to uphold the basic human rights of its citizens, including their freedom of expression and political affiliation, without fear of government reprisal and harassment; particularly for opposing or dissent voices.

“As your country works to protect the security of your citizens including actively countering threats of terrorism and extremist violence, it will best serve Nigeria’s interests to protect and uphold the very legal systems that provide for stability and open dialogue,” they said.

The Congressmen subsequently urged the Attorney General to take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of Mr. Sowore, while he is held in custody, work to facilitate a speedy and fair resolution to the current circumstances of his re-detention, and ensure that he received a legally sound and credible trial, consistent with Nigeria’s established judicial proceedings and the rulings that follow.

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