‘Fake news’ Police recants Falana’s statement that it shot Sowore; Police disperse protesters in Abuja

Human Rights lawyer Femi Falana confirmed to newsmen that Omoyele Sowore, a prominent Nigerian activist and publisher of Sahara Reporters has been shot by the police in the nation’s capital Abuja on Monday

“Yes it is true, that’s the information reaching me. He (Sowore) was shot by the police,” Falana a Senior Advocate of Nigeria said.

“I can’t tell what condition he is in now, because I am in Lagos and he is in Abuja,” he added.

Reports however suggest he was shot by a police officer at the popular Unity Fountain in Abuja where they had converged at 8:30 am.

Emerging reports Monday say Sowore has claimed he was shot at the Nigerian capital when they were protesting against the rising insecurity in the country.

The Police Command of the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) has debunked claims that Omoyele Sowore a former presidential candidate and activist was shot by a female Assistant Commissioner of Police’ at the Unity Fountain, describing it as “false and fake news”.

Spokesperson of the Command ASP Mariam Yusuf in a statement said “contrary to the speculation, Police Operatives professionally restored calm at the Unity Fountain following attempts by a group of protesters to incite a public disturbance.

“The protesters who went on the rampage were resisted by Police Operatives in order to prevent them from causing a breakdown of law and order. There is no record of such incident as at the time of this release.”

The Command enjoined residents to remain calm and law-abiding while reaffirming its commitment towards the protection of lives and property within the Federal Capital Territory.

Nigerian police dispersed a crowd of protesters Monday in the capital Abuja, injuring one, according to activists.

Sowore posted a picture of a wound on Twitter but police have denied the reports that he was shot, saying there was “no record of such incident” at this time.

And coroborating,another activist said he saw Sowore being shot with a teargas canister live on Facebook.

“Sowore has just been shot by a female police officer… She fired a teargas cannister directly at Sowore,” activist Inibehe Effiong said on Twitter.

One of his lawyers Marshall Abubakar told AFP he had been rushed to hospital.

“I am with him at the (hospital) theatre now trying to ascertain but it is a serious injury, a serious wound, a serious penetration,” said Abubakar.

Amnesty International Nigeria said it had received a “disturbing report that activist Omoyele Sowore was shot by the police.”

“Protesters deserved to be listened to, not shot at. We call on Nigerian authorities to investigate the incident and bring perpetrators to justice,” the rights groups wrote on Twitter.

“Contrary to the speculation, police operatives professionally restored calm at the Unity Fountain following attempts by a group of protesters to incite public disturbance,” police spokeswoman Mariam Yusuf said in a statement.

“The protesters who went on the rampage were resisted by police operatives in order to prevent them from causing a breakdown of law and order,” Yusuf added.

A harsh critic of President Muhammadu Buhari and the government of the day, Sowore has been arrested multiple times and released in December 2019 but remained accused of treason, money laundering, and cyber harassment of the President.

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