Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, was on Thursday beaten up by purported hoodlums, suspected to be pro-government supporters after he was barred from witnessing the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the proscribed leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), in Abuja.
Sowore had arrived at the court in the traditional “isi-agu” outfit of the Igbos in solidarity with Kanu, who was arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja, on a seven-count amended charge bordering on terrorism and illegal possession of weapons among others.
However, the publisher of Sahara Reporters, an online newspaper, was barred from court by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Speaking to journalists after he was denied access, the activist said he was at the court for a number of reasons.
He said: “I am here to check the registry because for a while I have not been charged to court, I need to know about my treason case.
“Also I am here to witness the trial of my friend, Nnamdi Kanu, the court is a public space and the public should not be barred from accessing the courtroom.
“People have the right to self-determination, Nigeria has not worked and will never work. So Nnamdi Kanu is not wrong and his trial should not be in secret.
“Security operatives have consistently failed to do their jobs and now you see them harassing journalists and lawyers.”
But shortly after speaking to the media, the 2019 presidential candidate was pounced upon by male individuals, numbering about 20. However, the security agents on the ground decided not to intervene and allowed the suspected thugs to slap and punch Sowore.
Only after the shouts of other persons present on the scene did the security agents then intervene and halted the assault. However, the security officials decided against apprehending the hoodlums, which led to another outage.
Members of the public then chased the hoodlums to apprehend them as the security operatives looked on.
When the situation got rowdy, the security operatives intervened and held a couple of them.