Omoyele Sowore, a human rights activist and former presidential candidate in Nigeria, has had his biometric identification deactivated by the Nigerian government.
The activist’s national identity card, permanent voter card, international passport, and driver license were all deactivated.
As a result, because the cards cannot be read biometrically, Sowore will be unable to use any of the national documents to conduct any transactions within or outside the country.
The latest attack on the activist by the Nigerian government came just two days after it was published that a hacker had gained access to the server of the National Identification Management Commission to steal personal information of over three million citizens.
It also comes just weeks after the government attempted to freeze Sowore’s bank account with Guaranty Trust Bank, according to Guaranty Trust Bank officials.
Remember that the activist’s account was first frozen in August 2019 by the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s secret police notorious for violating citizens’ rights, after the agency claimed he received large funds from the United Arab Emirates to overthrow the Buhari regime.
When the DSS discovered that Sowore had never visited the United Arab Emirate, the allegation was dropped.
In December 2021, the activist won a landmark victory against the DSS over the seizure of his mobile phones and was awarded N2 million in monetary damages.
However, the DSS has since refused to comply with the court’s decision.
However, the DSS has refused to follow the court’s order, instead devising new strategies to eliminate Sowore, who has become a thorn in the side of President Buhari’s administration.
Despite accusing him of plotting to destabilize Buhari’s government by calling for a revolution, the Nigerian government has failed to prove its case in court.
The government has used various methods to keep the former presidential candidate out of the public eye, including confining him to Abuja via a court order and harassing him on a regular basis.
Sowore was arrested for the first time by the DSS on August 3, 2019 for inciting Nigerians to take to the streets in protest of the country’s poor governance.
He was briefly released on bail on December 5, but was apprehended by DSS operatives a few hours later on December 6 while appearing for his trial in a case brought against him by the Nigerian government.
He is accused of insulting President Muhammadu Buhari and plotting to destabilize his regime.
Sowore was detained for more than four months in total, despite two court orders directing his release on bail during that time.