Groups comprising civil society organisations, during a protest to the US Embassy in Abuja to protest the re-arrest of the convener of the #RevolutionNow Protests, Omoyele Sowore, have submitted a petition urging the American government to place visa bans on the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Bichi and Attorney- General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and their families.
The move was motivated by the drama that ensured in court last week when operatives of the Department of State Services allegedly stormed a Federal High Courtroom to re-arrest Sowore barely moments after his release.
Representatives of the groups included the Coordinator, Free Nigeria Movement, Raphael Adebayo, Juwon Sanyaolu of Take It Back Movement, Kunle Ajayi of United Action for Democracy and Dare Ariyo-Atoye of Defence of Nigeria Constitution.
Raphael who spoke on behalf of the groups said, “The latest arrest of Sowore, which happened within the precinct of court, and which was led by gun-wielding officers of the DSS who stormed the court with an apparent resolve to stop at nothing to effect the re-arrest of Sowore, typifies the disturbing fact that the rule of law and human rights have become victims of executive despotism in Nigeria.”
They called on the US government to do more after Senator Robert Menendez condemned the actions publicly.
“We therefore, request in the best interest of Nigeria’s democracy, that s Visa-ban be imposed on the Director-General of the DSS, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, and his immediate family, for undermining Nigeria’s democracy.
“We also request that a Visa-ban be imposed on the Attorney General of the Federation of Nigeria, Abubakar Malami, and his immediate family, considering his eerily suspicious silence in the face of the desecration of rule of law and violation of human rights by the DSS in Nigeria.
“Equally, we urge the US to impose as many other sanctions as deemed necessary on Nigeria, to demonstrate its commitment to the rule of law and human rights in Nigeria,” they said.
The activists wanted the continued assistance of the US in sustaining Democratic values in Nigeria.