Some senior lawyers have said that the move by the Federal Government to release Mr Omoyele Sowore and retired Col. Sambo Dasuki from detention was significant and essential to the rule of law.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that while Sowore, leader of the ‘Revolution Now Movement”, was arrested and detained in August, Dasuki, former National Security Adviser, had been in detention for about four years.
The order by the Federal government for their immediate release came through the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, on Tuesday.
Reacting to the development, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Akin Onigbinde said the detention of Sowore and Dasuki was not overcome by exchanging fires but was achieved by citizens not keeping quiet.
According to him, the human voice may look weak to the strength of the gun but does not remove the strength from the conviction and voice of citizens.
“There are many challenges facing our country today, but we will continue to demand that the rule of law be respected instead of resorting to violence.
“All leaders are elected by the instrumentality of the law and cannot disregard the law that put them in power.
“The source of their power is the constitution and it is their responsibility to continue to respect the constitution,” he said.
He added that the release of Sowore and Dasuki was an attestation to the fact that no matter how weak the voice of the citizens might seem, it was effective and the only way by which change could be achieved.
Similarly, Mike Ozekhome (SAN) said the order for the release of both men showed that the government was beginning to see the importance of the rule of law prevailing over rule of the thumb.
“This is salutary for democracy, respect for fundamental rights of the citizens and observance of rule of law.
“I am happy the government has finally realised its faux pas and is seeing the same light which was seen in 2015 when the illegal incarceration of Dasuki was kicked against.
“It is never too late to take corrective measures and make amends,” he said.
Ozekhome said that respect for rule of law and citizens’ fundamental rights constituted some of the key building blocks of democracy.
He called for the release of other political detainees like Ibrahim El-zakzaky.