Detained activist and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore will be released on bail, Nigeria’s Attorney General said in a statement Tuesday.
Sowore, who is the publisher of US-based Sahara reporters news site, was arrested in August after calling for a nationwide demonstration against Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was charged with treason, money laundering and cyberstalking the President, but denies all the charges.
His mother Esther Sowore issued a desperate appeal to President Buhari to free her son earlier this month in an exclusive CNN interview.
Abubakar Malami, Nigeria’s Attorney General, said in a statement that the decision to release him was in compliance with the bail granted to him.
“…My office has chosen to comply with the court orders while considering the pursuit of its rights of appeal and/or review of the order relating to the bail as granted or varied by the courts,” Malami said in the statement.
A federal court in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, had previously granted Sowore bail pending his arraignment but he was re-arrested December 6th by the state’s security service just a few hours after his initial release.
The move attracted criticism globally and US lawmakers, including Cory Booker, expressed their concern over the apparent disregard of the rule of law.
Sowore’s wife, Opeyemi Sowore Tuesday said in a statement to CNN that she is grateful that her husband is being released but insists he should be cleared of all charges, which she described as “baseless.”
“While I am grateful for reports on Yele’s long-overdue release on bail, my number one concern is for his safety. We remain resolute on Yele being cleared of all baseless charges. I look forward to his safe return home to our family in NJ. We continue to pray for a holiday miracle,” she said.
Alongside Sowore, the government also ordered the release of Nigeria’s former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
Dasuki was arrested in 2015 for allegedly awarding contracts with funds meant for Nigeria’s military campaign against Boko Haram insurgents.