Pressure from the international community, especially the United States government, forced the Federal Government to order the release of former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd.), and convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, from detention on Tuesday, Daily Independent has gathered.
Dasuki has been in detention since December 29, 2015, while Sowore was arrested on August 3. There was no word on Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has also been in detention since December 2015.
Credible sources in the presidency told Daily Independent that Mary Leonard, the US Ambassador to Nigeria, and her deputy brokered the deal for the duo’s release after their meeting with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Abubakar Malami, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice.
According to our source, “The truth is that Dasuki and Sowore’s release was brokered by the Americans.
The US ambassador to Nigeria and her deputy met with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Malami and prevailed on them to plead with President Muhammadu Buhari to obey court orders and release them,” he said.
Earlier, the United States Congress had written to AGF Malami, where it expressed concern about the continued detention of Omoyele Sowore by the Department of State Services (DSS).
The lawmakers said Nigeria risks tarnishing its international reputation over Sowore’s indefinite detention and that “it will best serve Nigeria’s interests to protect and uphold the very legal systems that provide for stability and open dialogue.
“We request that you take immediate steps to… work to facilitate a speedy and fair resolution to the current circumstances of his re-detention; and ensure that he receives a legally sound and credible trial, consistent with Nigeria’s established judicial proceedings and the rulings that follow,” US lawmakers, Robert Menendez, Charles Schumer, Christopher Coons, Cory Booker, Bill Pascrell and Josh Gottheimer, said in a letter to Nigeria’s Attorney-General and Justice Minister Abubakar Malami.
The American lawmakers, however, said the government’s actions are contrary to the values of a democratic country which include “application of prosecutorial powers and actions, as well as the ultimate compliance with judicial rulings.”
The US lawmakers stated that Nigeria must work to uphold the basic human rights of its citizens including their freedom of expression and political affiliation.
“Nigeria has an opportunity and responsibility to serve as a model for following the established rule of law under its own constitution.”
The lawmakers said Malami’s adherence to facilitating genuine progress toward respect for the rule of law will continue to pave the way for closer ties between the United States and Nigeria for economic growth, development and security cooperation.
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