The National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) has reactivated the National Identity Number (NIN) of Omoyele Sowore, the activist, and Sahara Reporters publisher, has said.
Mr Sowore disclosed this on Monday in a tweet via his Twitter handle.
He expressed his happiness over the reactivation, which he attributed to the ultimatum he issued to NIMC to restore his NIN or face legal action.
“Happy to report that after a 7-day ultimatum given to the lawless Muhammadu Buhari regime. I’ve been informed that my national Identity cards have been reactivated! The struggle against tyranny continues!” Mr Sowore tweeted.
PREMIUM TIMES had reported how Mr Sowore had threatened to sue the NIMC over the alleged unlawful and unconstitutional deactivation of his NIN on January 14, 2022.
Through his lawyer, Tope Temokun, Mr Sowore had sent a letter dated January 14, 2022, threatening to institute legal action against the commission if it failed to reactivate his NIN within seven days.
“TAKE NOTICE that if after the expiration of SEVEN DAYS, inclusive of the date of service of this letter on you, our client’s National Identity Number (NIN) is not reactivated, we have the full instruction of our client to approach the appropriate court with jurisdiction to seek this redress and this shall be without further recourse to you,” the letter by Mr Sowore’s lawyer read in part.
When the seven-day ultimatum issued in the letter lapsed on January 21, 2022, without his demand met, Mr Temokun subsequently told our reporter that his client would be suing the agency “this coming week”.
Sahara Reporters had reported earlier, on January 12, 2022, that Mr Sowore’s biometric identifications had been deactivated, and he would be unable to use any of the national documents to conduct any transactions within or outside the country.
The report described the development as the Nigerian government’s latest attack on Mr Sowore.
Mr Sowore, who noted that the deactivation of his NIN was politically motivated, had said he became aware of the development on January 12 when he wanted to use it for a transaction.
He told our reporter in an interview that the NIN deactivation affected his permanent voter card, passport and driving licence.
None of the relevant agencies or authorities has made any public comment on Mr Sowore’s outcry over the issue.
Our reporter had reached out to NIMC’s spokesperson, Kayode Adegoke, but he did not pick our reporter’s repeated calls or reply to the text messages sent to him.
The spokesperson National Immigration Service (NIS), the government’s agency that issues passports to Nigerian citizens, Amos Okpu, said he had no information regarding the alleged deactivation of Mr Sowore’s passport.
Mr Sowore has been targeted by Nigerian security agencies on many occasions since his arrest by the State Security Service (SSS) after declaring, in August 2019, to lead a #RevolutionNow protest against what he considered to be the President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s poor handling of the security situation, economy, and corruption in the country.
He and a protester in Osun State, Olawale Bakare, who was also arrested by the SSS regarding the protest, are currently facing charges of treasonable felony at the Federal High Court in Abuja for allegedly planning to topple the Buhari administration with the demonstration.
Apart from seizing Mr Sowore’s passport, the court also restricted his movement to within Abuja as part of the conditions for the bail granted him.
But he continues to lead protests and participate in other anti-government demonstrations in Abuja. On different occasions, he ended up being manhandled or detained by the police during such public.
He had also, on numerous occasions, raised the alarm over repeated coordinated attacks on him by alleged hired thugs during protests and appearances in court.