-December 23, 2019, news/comments
Six American legislators, Robert Menendez (senator), Charles Schumer (senator), Cory Booker (senator), Christopher Coons (senator), Bill Pascrell (congressman) and John Gotheirmer (congressman), have been reportedly to would have written the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Nigeria, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), expressing concerns over Omoleye Sowore and Olawale Bakare’s re-arrest and incessant detention for calling for #RevolutionNow; a sets of protests to demand an end to corruption and demand better living conditions for Nigerians, but the Federal Government saw it as a call for a coup and a plan to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
The US congressmen writes “Disturbing videos of the melee in court are circulating, which appear to show armed agents, in court and Mr Sowore being placed in choke hold after which he was re-detained by the 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. Mr Attorney General, we request that you take immediate steps to ensure the safety and security of Mr Sowore while he is held in government custody; work to facilitate speedy and fair resolution to the circumstances of his re-detention; and ensure he receives a legally sound and credible trial.”
The lawmakers further said that Nigeria risked tarnishing its international reputation over Sowore’s indefinite detention, adding that “it will best serve Nigeria’s interests to protect and uphold the very legal systems that provide for stability and open dialogue.”
But without addressing the issue raised by the foreign lawmakers, Malami stated on Sunday Through his spokesperson, Dr Umar Gwandu, described the media reports on the US legislators’ letter as inappropriate and inaccurate and further hinted that foreign policy conventions do not support direct correspondence between the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and serving legislators of a foreign country. But reports were of the view that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs might be an appropriate Ministry for such a correspondence to go not to the Attorney general office.
Gwandu stated: “The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, did not receive such a letter. The Attorney General of the Federation finds media reports on the purported claim of such, correspondence to his office, peddled by some unscrupulous elements in the society, as not only inappropriate but inaccurate”.
“It is essential to put on the record that the so-called letter has not been received at the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN at the close of the work on Friday, December 20, 2019.”
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