Lawyer to the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), has said that he has the authority of the detained publisher, Omoyele Sowore, to press charges against the Nigerian police for torturing and illegally detaining him.
Sowore was arrested along with his friends for leading a “crossover protest” in Abuja.
He accused Nigerian police of violating his human rights.
Mr Falana said: “Since Mr. Sowore’s fundamental right to dignity has been recklessly violated by the police we have his instructions to press for charges against all the officers who subjected him to physical and mental torture in contravention of the letter and spirit of the provisions of the Anti Torture Act of 2017.
“Mr Sowore, who was covering an event at the time of his arrest, has maintained that he did not breach any of the COVID-19 regulations. He has been detained indefinitely on the basis of orders “from above”.
“The police officers who arrested Mr Omoyele Sowore at Abuja on January 31, 2020, subjected him to severe beating and left him with bruises all over his body.
“As if that was not enough, he has been locked up in the midst of armed robbery suspects at a notorious detention facility called abattoir maintained by the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad in Abuja.
“The physical torture to Mr Sowore was prolonged by the refusal of the police to provide him with medical attention.
“Although Mr Sowore’s injuries are being treated by his personal physician, the police authorities have refused the application of the detainee for bail even though the alleged offence of breaching COVID-19 regulations is ‘bailable’.