Opeyemi Sowore. Image credit: Democracy Now

Opeyemi, the wife of the detained presidential candidate of the African Action Congres, Omoyele Sowore, has demanded an immediate release of her husband.

Concise News had reported that the Department of State Services (DSS) had arrested Sowore at his hotel in Lagos on August 3, two days to the #RevolutionNow protest convened by the activist.

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He was later transferred to Abuja while the secret police secured a court order to detain him for 45 days.

In an application filed at a Federal High Court in Abuja two weeks after his arrest, the DSS accused Sowore of conspiring with Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), to overthrow the government of President Muhammadu Buhari.

The DSS also alleged that he held a series of meetings with some foreign collaborators outside Nigeria, including Dubai, where millions of dollars were given to him to sponsor a widespread attack on Nigeria with a view to violently removing Buhari.

But speaking when she featured on Democracy Now, a news programme in the US, Sowore’s wife said her husband has never been to Dubai.

Mrs Sowore said he had been in solitary confinement, adding that she and her children had spoken to him just twice since his arrest.

She said, “There are no formal charges per se. He’s being investigated, so the courts gave the Nigerian government or the DSS the ability to hold him for 45 days to investigate — treason, possible treason and terrorism. They based it upon a meeting that he had with Nnamdi Kanu, who has an organization around Biafra. He met with him. Yele made it public. In fact, he disagrees with some of Nnamdi’s rhetoric, but he met with him. And Yele’s whole thing is bringing in everybody’s voices so that Nigeria can be a country for pretty much all of its citizens. So, that’s one of the things that they mentioned against them.

“They also mentioned he may have taken money from international countries, and he met them in Dubai. He has never been to Dubai before, which was an interesting statement on the Nigerian government’s part. And no money, basically, has been found with him. So, those were some of the things that they’ve mentioned and associated with him, but they basically have no grounds for holding him and haven’t found any evidence.”

She also narrated how her husband contacted her, via text message, shortly before he was taken and detained by the DSS.

She said, “It was Friday night here, Saturday in Nigeria, I got a text from him saying, “I love you.” And I’m like, “OK, great. I love you, too.” But his cousin started calling me over and over about an hour after that and told me that he had been detained. And for four days — or, three days, we did not have any contact with him. We didn’t know where he was. He was taken by force at his hotel in Lagos and transported to Abuja and of course, he didn’t eat their food, didn’t drink their water for all those days.

“He was basically in isolation with no food, no water. But then, on the Tuesday after, he was able to get in touch with his lawyer, as well as they allowed people to come in to provide him with food. But since then, he’s basically been in isolation for over a month, being held in Abuja with basically no outlets. He’s basically locked in a room, for the most part.”