The Federal Government has been called upon to immediately release from custody the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Mr Omoyele Sowore.

The activist was arrested in August and has been kept by security operatives against court rulings.

The Nigeria’s leading rights groups also said the attacks on protesters demanding the release Mr Sowore portrays Nigeria in the grimiest image of an autocratic country that has no respect for the rule of law. In a statement on Wednesday, the Human and Environmental and Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre) said the Nigerian authorities have demonstrated complete disregard for the fundamentals of democratic governance. Early in October, HEDA in collaboration with international rights groups declared Sowore a prisoner of Conscience.“There is no more justification for keeping Sowore who has embarked on hunger strike.

We suspect that by now his health must have been failing. His condition may deteriorate unless the government releases him from captive”, HEDA said in a release signed by its Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju.  He said Sowore is a target of hate by the government adding that his arrest was a conscious attempt to destroy his medium, Sahara Reporters which has continued to expose corruption committed by Politically Exposed Persons, (PEP). Mr Sowore was charged for various offenses including treason and an attempt to overthrow the government, charges the Nigerian government continuously amend due to inability to source enough evidence.

On Tuesday, the Department of State Services violently dispersed a crowd of protesters that gathered to register their anger against the continuous detention of Sowore. The DSS used live bullets, tear gas and pepper spray around its headquarters where the demonstrators converged.

Two photo journalists, Jide Oyekunle of Daily Independent Newspapers and Mr Mudashiru Atanda of The Sun Newspapers were attacked in the mayhem. “We condemn in the strongest term, attempts to frustrate the release of Mr Sowore.

There is no justi/cation for the continuous detention of the activist. The Federal Government will be held responsible for any evil that may befall Mr Sowore” HEDA said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Mr Olanrewaju Suraju.