Sowore re-arrested

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A Nigerian activist and former presidential candidate whose detention prompted protests by rights groups was re-arrested at a court hearing hours after he was released on bail, his lawyer told Reuters.

Omoyele Sowore, who ran against President Muhammadu Buhari in February’s election, was first arrested in August and pleaded not guilty to charges of treason, money laundering and harassing the president.

He was released on bail on Thursday ahead of a court hearing on Friday. His lawyer, Femi Falana, said the activist was re-arrested by state security officials on Friday after the hearing, screaming and shouting as he was dragged away.

Falana said state security filed new charges against Sowore, without elaborating.

Sowore’s continued detention despite being granted bail led to criticism of Buhari’s administration and allegations that human rights were flouted in this case and those of other high-profile figures.

Prior to Thursday’s release, the Department for State Security said Sowore’s bail conditions had not been met and detained him. A court in Abuja said on Thursday he must be released within 24 hours.

“Having complied with the order of court what is required is for the state security service to allow our clients enjoy their limited freedom,” Falana told Reuters after Sowore was re-arrested on Friday.



Sahara Reporters, the online Nigerian news organisation Sowore founded, said he was taken to state security headquarters after his latest arrest.