The Nigerian police today laid a siege to the offices of news platform, Sahara Reporters; and rights group, Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), in Lagos as rights groups condemned the development.
Fully armed police contingents arrived at about 6 a.m. at the national secretariat of CDHR at Adeniyi Jones, Ikeja and the office of Civic Media Lab at Isaac John, GRA Ikeja where Sahara Reporters is assumed to be domiciled. They are believed to have gathered at both offices to prevent a protest planned to demand the release of activist Omoyele Sowore from prison.
The spokesperson of the Lagos Police Command, Bala Elkana, said the deployment of police to the areas was to serve as protection and ensure that law and order are maintained.
Meanwhile, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has called on the federal government to lift the siege. The group said the government is increasingly targeting journalists, critics and activists, stating that it is an obvious attempt to silence investigative journalism. SERAP also called on the international community to intervene in the situation in Nigeria.
The publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, has been in detention for several weeks for organising a protest against the federal government. The government accuses him of terrorism and plotting to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari.