Coalition Calls for Release of Detained Publisher of Sahara Reporters 

Sowore Omoyele,  Publisher, Sahara Reporters
Sowore Omoyele,
Sahara Reporters

The Coalition of Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) has called on the Nigerian Government to unconditionally release Mr. Omoyele Sowore, the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, who was arrested following his call for a revolution to protest the policies and performance of the Government.

The Coalition said in a statement released on August 7, 2019 said the arrest of Sowore on allegations of treason is of grave concern to it, pointing out that the constitution, in Sections 22, 26 and 39, grant citizens the right to freedom of expression and peaceful protests and that “these rights cannot be ignored by any individual or government, least of all a democratically elected government.”

CWPPF also emphasized that Chapter 9, Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) also provides for the right to Freedom of Assembly Chapter 4 Section 40 of the Constitution of Nigeria guarantees the right to freedom of assembly.

Citing the Press Attack Tracker, a website that records attacks and harassment of Nigerian journalists, the group pointed out that in the last five years of this current administration, violations against the press shot up by 70% in comparison to the previous administration.

it added that several of its members have suffered harassments and infringement of their rights, the most recent being the threats of reprisals on the publisher and members of staff of OrderPaper Nigeria by Honorable Tony Nwulu a former member of the  House of Representatives.

CWPPF said it found disturbing, “the persistent name-calling and harassment of Amnesty Nigeria, an international human rights organization” which is a sign that shows how far off-kilter the country and its administrators have fallen.

It reiterated that no democracy worth its salt can abide by these violations of constitutionally guaranteed rights and thus called on President Muhammadu Buhari, who has sworn an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution, to immediately release Mr Omoyele Sowore and drop all allegations against him.

The Coalition of Whistleblowers Protection and Press Freedom (CWPPF) is a coalition of media and Civil Society Organisations, CSOs.