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‘Govt can’t continue to pick and choose which court orders to obey’, SERAP reacts to Sowore, Dasuki release

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Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has commended the Muhammadu Buhari Presidency for ordering the relase of #RevolutionNow convener, Mr. Omoyele Sowore and the immediate-past National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki, from custody.

In a statement on Tuesday by SERAP deputy director, Olawole Oluwadare, the organization expressed hope that “this signals a change in direction in Nigeria towards full respect for the rule of law, tolerance and greater openness by the government that would allow citizens to effectively enjoy their constitutional rights and fundamental freedoms.

SERAP also demanded that the federal government immediately withdraw all charges against Sowore and his co-accused, Olawale Bakare

“The President Buhari government should now immediately withdraw all charges against Mr Sowore and Olaware Bakare and all others detained simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression. They should never have been charged in the first place.”

READ ALSO: We’re not fooled by Buhari’s order for release of Dasuki, Sowore —PDP

SERAP also stated that the administration should not be selective in obeying court orders.

“The government cannot continue to pick and choose which court orders to obey. All court orders must be immediately and fully obeyed. It should never be right for the government to selectively obey court orders.

“The government should have immediately obeyed court orders releasing Sowore, Dazuki and others on bail.

“The President Buhari government must cease the restrictions on the civic space, respect human rights, and immediately obey all outstanding court orders including at least four judgments obtained by SERAP.

“The first is the judgment by Justice Hadiza Rabiu Shagari ordering the government to tell Nigerians about the stolen asset it allegedly recovered, with details of the amounts involved.

“The second judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris, ordered the government to publish details on the spending of stolen funds recovered by successive governments since the return of democracy in 1999, while the third judgment, by Justice Chuka Austine Obiozor, ordered the immediate release of details of payments of billions of naira to all defaulting and allegedly corrupt electricity contractors and companies since 1999.

“The fourth judgment, by Justice Mohammed Idris (as he then was), ordered President Buhari to prosecute senior lawmakers suspected of padding and stealing N481 billion from the 2016 budget.

“The court also ordered President Buhari to “direct the publication of the report of investigations by security and anti-corruption bodies into the alleged padding of the 2016 budget.”

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