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Sowore Leaves Nigeria for US After Five Years, Vows to Fight On

Sowore Leaves Nigeria for US After Five Years, Vows to Fight On
Jerry Adesewo
Omoyele Sowore, a Nigerian human rights activist and founder of the online news agency Sahara Reporters, has left Nigeria for the United States after spending almost five years in in Nigeria, facing trial for treason and other charges.
Sowore announced his departure on his social media platforms, saying he was returning to the US to reunite with his wife and children, whom he had not seen since his arrest in August 2019.
Sowore was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) after he called for a nationwide protest under the banner of #RevolutionNow, a movement that demanded radical change in Nigeria’s political and economic system.
He was then accused of plotting to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and inciting public disorder. The teimped up charges against him also include cybercrime and money laundering offences.
Sowore pleaded not guilty to all the charges and maintained that he was exercising his constitutional right to peaceful protest.
Sowore’s arrest and detention sparked widespread condemnation and criticism from local and international human rights groups, who accused the Nigerian government of violating his fundamental rights and stifling dissent. He was granted bail several times by different courts, but the DSS refused to release him until December 2019, after a court order and pressure from civil society. He was then placed under house arrest and restricted from travelling outside Abuja, the capital city, until March 2021, when the government withdrew the charges against him and allowed him to travel.
In his statement, Sowore said he was “I am not deterred by government’s persecution. This struggle for the liberation of the Nigerian people from corruption and bad governance shall continue,” he said I’m the statement, promising he would return to Nigeria to face the remaining cases against him and to resume his activism.
Sowore also thanked his family, lawyers, colleagues, and supporters for standing by him throughout his ordeal.
Sowore is a former presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) party, which he founded in 2018. He ran in the 2019 and 2023 general elections, but lost to the incumbent President Buhari. He is also a lecturer at the City University of New York and a citizen reporter, who has exposed several cases of corruption and human rights abuses in Nigeria through his online platform, Sahara Reporters

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