Human right lawyer Femi Falana yesterday reveals some reasons why the Federal government were so quick in passing the hate speech bill during the public presentation of the third edition of the ‘Compendium of High profile corruption cases in Nigeria’ published by the Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA) Resource Centre in partnership with the MacArthur Foundation. He said “Hate speech is when you expose corruption and they believe that could incite the people against the government. That’s why they are charging Sowore, it’s not about that protest, it’s about Sahara Reporters.
“Garba Shehu said it yesterday. Shehu said ‘This guy(Sowore) is not just an ordinary politician, he has a powerful medium.’ He meant Sahara Reporters, so, they felt that if Sowore is allowed to enjoy his restricted freedom (bail), he may still continue to publish Sahara Reporters, so let’s put him in, whether the heavens will collapse or not. That’s what is going on.”
Falana also revealed that he got accommodation for Sowore and Bakare in one of Abuja’s best hotels with government’s money following their release on bail last Thursday.
He said he lodged them at the Transcorp Hilton after receiving the N100, 000 fine imposed on DSS’s lawyer by the FHC.
He said,” We are making progress. In fact, it was the money we used to get accommodation for them (Sowore and Bakare) in Transcorp Hilton. You know that’s the best hotel in town, I put them there, with the government money.”
He accused the DSS of deliberately prolonging Sowore’s trial and detention by refusing to tender in court, its witness statements. He added that the Presidency was also subjecting Sowore to media trial.
Falana said: “But they can’t go on like that indefinitely. If they are unable to go on next time, we are going to ask the judge to strike out the case.”