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5 Things You Should Know About Nigerian Political Activist Omoyele Sowore

The 48-year-old was detained on Aug. 3 for allegations of "threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social peace."

Political activist Omoyele Sowore's supporters have called for the Nigerian government's release of the vocal figure. The 48-year-old was detained on Aug. 3 for allegations of "threatening public safety, peaceful co-existence and social peace" on the heels of his "Revolution Now" protest (Aug. 5), BBC reports. The call to action was fueled by opposition to the regime of Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari and a need to revamp government policies that'll better reflect the desires of the country's people.

Here are five things to know about Sowore and his call to action.

1. Sowore Launched Investigative Publication Sahara Reporters In 2006
Sowore began the online publication with the sole purpose of pinning a spotlight on corruption and holding politicians accountable for wayward actions. Since it was founded in New York City, a number of Nigerian officials have filed lawsuits in U.S. courts against the website for defamation. The Daily Beast nicknamed the outlet as "Africa's Wikileaks" for its unabashed coverage of corruption in Nigeria.

The site "is providing information to Nigerians in a way they've never had it before," Sowore said. Its content is fueled by anonymous Nigerians "who want to see a different country."

2. He Announced His Presidential Campaign In 2018
In an interview with Amsterdam News, Sowore unveiled a "10-point plan" to help Nigeria become a global force through economic, social, and technological changes. He also likened his desire to create a better lifestyle for Nigerians to the legendary Fela Anikulapo Kuti's messages. "I am such a Fela disciple. He was one single activist who took on the system all by himself using music," he said. "I didn’t have a good voice so I couldn’t sing, but I am using media, I am using my body, my skills, and I am using the internet to fight the government.”

Sowore has remained critical of the government since 1989 when he was a student at the University of Lagos. He also obtained a Master's Degree from Columbia University in public administration.

3. Protests From New York City To Italy Call For His Release
Earlier this month, Facebook user Osuya Vivian called for Sowore's supporters to organize a peaceful protest in Italy that demands his release. "As concern Nigerians, we all have a responsibility to speak out and secure the release of our own because injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and whatever affects one directly, affects all directly," Vivian's statement reads.

On Thursday afternoon (Sept. 19), supporters appeared outside of the Nigerian embassy in New York City to bring awareness to Sowore's detainment. The African Renaissance Organization previously issued a petition to the United States Department of State that claims the Nigerian government is placing the limelight on "increasing threats to democratic freedom," according to the group's convener Onyinye Chuks.

4. According To His Wife, Opeyemi Sowore, There Are No Formal Charges
Opeyemi Sowore said her husband has yet to face any charges despite an investigation being spearheaded by the country's government or the Department of State Services (DSS), per Democracy Now. His time in jail without bail has surpassed the court-ordered 45-day mark that the government has to bring charges against a detainee. On Twitter, #FreeSoworeNow mobilized the global community to demand his release.

Opeyemi Sowore also notes that her husband’s detainment might stem from his meeting with Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). In 2015, he was arrested for treason. Kanu has called upon the United Nations to support the movement's mission of Biafra's secession from Nigeria, according to Sahara Reporters. In that same statement, he also demanded Sowore's release.

5. Nigeria And Freedom Of The Press
Under section 39 (1) of Nigeria's constitution, freedom of expression including freedom of the press is protected but past and current instances of censorship have placed a strain on the gather and dissemination of information. "There have been numerous arrests, also in the context of the 5 August demonstration, that actually did take place, where numerous people were arrested, including a number of reporters that work for Sahara Reporters," Nani Jansen Reventlow, a lawyer representing Sowore said to Democracy Now. "But various other human rights defenders in the country have been arrested over the past months."

Earlier this year, a Premium Times reporter was arrested for "refusing to reveal a source," CPJ reports. Office raids have reportedly occurred within the last four years, another journalist at Daily Trust stated.

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Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Drake And More Pay Tribute To Pop Smoke

The hip-hop world is in mourning after the tragic and shocking death of rising Brooklyn rapper Pop Smoke. Nicki Minaj, 50 Cent, Drake, Rich the Kid, Chance the Rapper and more paid tribute to the slain 20-year-old recording artist on Wednesday (Feb. 18) with many responding in disbelief.

“The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable,” Minaj, who collaborated with Pop on his “Welcome to the Party” remix, wrote on Instagram. “Rest In Peace, Pop.”

The Brooklyn native, whose birth names was Bashar Barakah Jackson, was shot and killed inside his Hollywood Hills rental home early Wednesday. Two masked men broke into the home at around 4:30 a.m, sources told TMZ. Police arrived at 4:55 a.m. after responding to a call from the East Coast alerting them to a home invasion at the location. Pop was transported to Cedars-Sinai Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“No such thing as success [without] jealousy,” tweeted 50 Cent. “Treachery comes from those who are close. RIP.”

Rich the Kid revealed that he spoke with Pop hours before his death. “I don’t wanna believe it, we literally spoke less than 24 hours ago I’m lost for word [sic] tryna type this message love you bro this s**t hurt me so bad that you gone already I’m tryna stop the tears.”

Drake took to his Instagram Story with a message on being grateful for life. “Sit by some good energy tonight in these unwelcoming times. Be with some good people and express how grateful you are for life. RIP Pop.”

“Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young,” tweeted Chance the Rapper. “God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh.”

A candlelight vigil was held for the “Gatti ” rapper in Brooklyn on Wednesday night.

They outside turning up for #PopSmoke in Brooklyn 🔥💫 pic.twitter.com/KTA1UWSUKB

— Pop Smoke Central (@PopSmokeCentral) February 20, 2020

Candlelight vigil for #PopSmoke in Canarsie, Brooklyn 🙏 pic.twitter.com/bekh8TZqC2

— Pop Smoke Central (@PopSmokeCentral) February 20, 2020

Authorities have yet to officially confirm a motive for the murder as the investigation is ongoing.

Read tributes to Pop below.

No such thing as success with out jealousy, treachery comes from those who are close. R.i.P pic.twitter.com/OZxKtpPZog

— 50cent (@50cent) February 19, 2020

 

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Been shot at in San Fran , got arrested in Maryland , La , New York and Oklahoma , had a so call stand off with police in Oklahoma , Cali spot got broken into 4 times alll on tape and one of them even left they phone 😯😒ALLL SINCE I BEEN A “RAPPER” you literally gotta Pray 🙏🏿that you make it back home safe !! But then you not even safe at home.. 🙏🏿🙏🏿 my condolences

A post shared by 2 Chainz Aka Tity Boi (@2chainz) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:08pm PST

 

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The Bible tells us that jealousy is as cruel as the grave. Unbelievable. Rest In Peace, Pop.

A post shared by Barbie (@nickiminaj) on Feb 19, 2020 at 6:57am PST

Rest Up Pop Smoke, you were too young. God Bless and comfort your family. What a crazy trajectory you were on man smh 🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾

— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) February 19, 2020

 

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This is heart breaking. He was just getting started. Prayers to his family 🙏🏽

A post shared by Hot Girl Meg (@theestallion) on Feb 19, 2020 at 9:42am PST

Travis Scott reacts to the death of Pop Smoke.

The two first met at Travis’ Astroworld music festival. pic.twitter.com/xyEO8dKWuo

— Only Hip Hop Facts (@OnlyHipHopFacts) February 19, 2020

 

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R. I. P. Lil homie. ✨🎤💙🙏🏽 damn I’m hurt all ova again 💫✨🌟 Gone2soon🌹💙

A post shared by snoopdogg (@snoopdogg) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:54am PST

 

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Damn pop..... 🙏🏾

A post shared by Meek Mill (@meekmill) on Feb 19, 2020 at 8:48am PST

 

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I don’t wanna believe it, we literally spoke less than 24 hours ago I’m lost for word tryna type this message love you bro this shit hurt me so bad that you gone already I’m tryna stop the tears I’m tryna stop this chest pain that I got at 7 am when gramz texted me we gone miss you bro RIP @realpopsmoke 4L 💙💫

A post shared by BOSS MAN 🤵🏽💰 (@richthekid) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:56am PST

 

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Lost for words right now! Smh 🤦🏽‍♂️ Brooklyn King! Rest up! 💙 this shit right here hit home!

A post shared by Young M.A (@youngma) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:08am PST

 

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See You In Paradise Cuz 💙✌🏽💙

A post shared by MALIK & MUGGA 🌎 HUSSLE 🏁 (@daveeast) on Feb 19, 2020 at 11:05am PST

 

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F L Y H I G H W O O 🕊@realpopsmoke Got To Kno This Kid! Very Talented Humble Respectful And Appreciative Always Ask Questions Big Sponge To Knowledge Fast Learning Young Boss And The Huncho Was Here To Share That Anytime You Called Me! R.I.P 🙏🏾💫#MEETTHEWOO

A post shared by QuavoHuncho (@quavohuncho) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:03am PST

 

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Damn bro just talked to u.💔Can’t believe it.you was on yo way. You was a real star bro. Yo energy was crazy. We needed ur energy n sound! Rest In Peace broski 😢😢💔💔

A post shared by T-Raww (@tyga) on Feb 19, 2020 at 7:49am PST

Texting me worried I love you for that !!!!!!! But rip pop smoke

— DURKIOOO🦅 (@lildurk) February 19, 2020

We are devastated by the unexpected and tragic loss of @POPSMOKE10. Our prayers and thoughts go out to his family, friends and fans, as we mourn this loss together. pic.twitter.com/nVnv9ESZOs

— Republic Records (@RepublicRecords) February 19, 2020

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CBS Los Angeles

Eric Holder Trial Date Could Coincide With Anniversary Of Nipsey Hussle’s Murder

A trial date has reportedly been set for Eric Holder, the man accused of killing Nipsey Hussle. Holder’s two-week trial is likely to begin in early April and is expected to end by April 14, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Perry said in court on Wednesday (Feb. 19).

There’s a possibility that the trail could start in late March, which would coincide with the one-year anniversary of Hussle’s murder.

Judge Perry noted the seriousness of the case while addressing Holder in court. “These cases take time to get ready for trial,” Perry said according to the New York Daily News. “You have a right to a speedy trial.”

The case has been continued until March 18. Perry told Holder that the court would its best to begin the trial within 30 days. Holder agreed to the continuance and is scheduled to return to court next month.

Hussle, born Ermias Asghedom, was gunned down in the parking lot of his South Los Angeles clothing store on March 31, 2019. Holder was arrested two days later in Bellflower, Calif., which is roughly 20 miles away from the murder scene.

Last November, Judge Perry denied a motion to have two of Holder's charges dismissed sighting that there was enough evidence to go to trial. Holder, 30, has pleaded not guilty to one count of murder, two counts of attempted murder, one count of assault with a firearm, and one count of possession of a firearm by felon.

Holder allegedly reached out to a podcaster last week and vowed to share his story after the trial.

If convicted, Holder faces a maximum of life in prison.

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LeBron James Sets Children's Book For Release This Summer

A man of many talents, LeBron James is adding author to his stacked resume. According to Entertainment Weekly, the three-time NBA champion joined literary forces with HarperCollins Publishers to create a children's book titled I PROMISE. The book will be released in August.

"Books have the ability to teach, inspire, and bring people together. That's why these books, and the opportunity to get children and parents reading together, mean so much to me," he said. "Most importantly, we wanted to make sure these stories are ones that every single kid can see themselves in. I PROMISE is powerful in that way and I can't wait for people to read it." On Instagram, James expounded upon his statement, hoping that the text will inspire its young readers and encourage the next game-changer.

"Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here," he wrote. "Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day." The book is illustrated by Nina Mata and will focus on giving back to communities and a reminder to always bet on yourself.

 

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Our own children’s book⁉️ What!! @ljfamfoundation @ipromiseschool Man, the beauty of this is the process in how we got here. Never settling no matter the opportunities or chapters we add to this journey and now we get to share our promise and our story with kids and families everywhere. I can’t wait for everyone to read this, share this, feel empowered, and strive for greatness the same way my kids from Akron do every day. 🙏🏾 Middle school edition next. 👀 👑 @harpercollins

A post shared by LeBron James (@kingjames) on Feb 18, 2020 at 9:10am PST

EW also notes the book will be followed by "a middle-grade novel" in 2021. The news follows another feat for the pro-athlete off the hardwood. After opening a public elementary school in his home state of Ohio in 2018, James' self-titled foundation partnered with Kent State University to offer free tuition for four years to the school's first graduating class.

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