US lawmaker petitions Nigeria over continuous assaults on journalists, activists.

Senator Robert Menedez of the Congress of the United States has written to the head of mission, Embassy of the Federal Republic Nigeria, Ambassador Sylvanus Nsofor, expressing strong concern about the clampdown of media and civic space in Nigeria. They noted that there has been a number of troubling reports about the security operatives in Nigeria assaulting journalists, using force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions against the people that restricts them from expressing its fundamental human rights in the country. “We write to express our strong concern over closing media and civic space in Nigeria. “There have been a lot of troubling reports about Nigerian security services assaulting and detaining journalists using excessive force on non-violent protesters and taking other actions that inhibit freedom of expression, and otherwise prevent Nigerians from fully exercising their fundamental constitutional rights.” In the letter, Congress further condemned the illegal detention of activists and journalists like Omoyele Sowore, Jones Abiri, Kofi Bartels who are speaking out about politically sensitive problems like corruption and insecurity. At some point, some of these activists have been greatly tortured and yet nothing has been done to stop the crackdown. Recall that Omoyele Sowore was arrested on August 3 by the SSS for planning a protest popularized with the hashtag #RevolutionNow, was granted bail for the second time on October 18. A previous bail granted the defendant on September 24 was not complied with by the SSS. He was facing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber stalking, insulting President Buhari. The Senator, therefore, urged the ambassador to ensure that the rights and liberties contained in the constitution are duly observed for every citizen and to take action against the closing of media and civic space in the country. “The right of the citizens must be respected without threats of government reprisal”, he said.

First Seen on Vanguard News, written by David O Royal.