There are merging symptoms of latent disquiet in the Nigerian Presidency over the violent assault and perennial disregard for the Nigerian court by the executive in handling the case of Omoyele Sowore, leader of the RevolutionNow Movement. The flagrant disregard for court orders and physical assault in the courtroom last week by the Department of Security Service (DSS) do not seem to go down well with the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo. Thus, the VP sacrifice an award by the Wole Soyinka Investigative Journalism Foundation for this reason, among others.
The Vice President was absent at the award but explained the reasons for his absence in a statement issued on Monday. Vice President Osinbajo cited participation in an international meeting in Abu Dhabi where he is the keynote speaker; he also added that the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, made it insensitive and inappropriate for him to attend the ceremony. He, then, apologized for his absence.
Prof. Osinbajo’s explanation statement to the Organizers of the 2019 Anti-Corruption Defender Award, reads: “I am extremely grateful for the recognition and award of the “Integrity Specialty of the Wole Soyinka Centre for Investigative Journalism’s Anti-corruption Defender Award of 2019” to me.
“The award, I note, is for our Justice reform efforts in Lagos State. I had accepted the award with pride on behalf of the excellent Justice Sector team we had.
“However, two reasons explain my absence. First is that I am currently in Abu Dhabi for an international meeting under the auspices of the government of the UAE where I am the keynote speaker.
“Second, in view of the developments on Friday in the Sowore case, I think it would be insensitive and inappropriate to attend the ceremony.
“Please accept my heartfelt apologies and extend the same to the other members of the organizing team. God bless you.”
The statement was signed by Laolu Akande,
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President.
The media aides to President Muhammadu Buhari has earlier justified the action of the DSS on Sowore, saying that only 100,000 of over 190 million Nigerians are making noise over Sowore’s travail.
Now, the Vice President has expressed his verdict that the processes are not justified. Nigerians await the outcome of the statement not approving the processes of handling Sowore’s case.