HAWORTH, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey wife desperate for her husband’s safe return home, after being detained overseas for months, has learned she will have to wait even longer.
One more day in jail means one more ribbon to tie around a tree for Opeyemi Sowore. It seems the “number one” has been a constant thing in her life, since her husband was incarcerated in Nigeria.
“I am really taking it one day at a time and it’s been a rollercoaster,” the jailed journalist’s wife said.
For 96 days now she has been tying ribbons around trees in Haworth, New Jersey. Each one represents a day her husband Yele Sowore has been locked up and isolated in his native Nigeria. On Wednesday, the Bergen County wife and mother found out he could be locked away for one more month.
“Because the Nigerian government didn’t follow due process, the judge postponed the trail to early December,” Mrs. Sowore told CBS2.
That means her husband will still be locked away, not able to talk to her or their kids. Yele owns Sahara Reporters, an online publication based in New York that raises awareness about corruption issues in Nigeria. He was detained back in August after allegedly organizing a pro-democracy protest there.
“He has missed our 10-year-old son’s birthday, his dad wasn’t there to celebrate with him. He missed our 15th year anniversary, he loves being able to take the kids to first day of school in the fall and he missed that as well.”
The Haworth community has come together in recent weeks, hosting a vigil to raise awareness about Yele’s detention. Last week, town council member Jackie Guenego told CBS2 she has been urging people to call congressional representatives about this.
“To really make sure our government is impressing upon the Nigerian government how important it is for Yele to come home,” Guenego said.
Opeyemi says her husband has met all bail conditions and may be allowed to leave jail temporarily, but he must stay in Nigeria until his next court date – when he hopes charges will be dropped.
“My biggest thing now is that we are hoping and praying that he is able to come home to me and the kids as quickly as possible. We all miss him dearly,” Sowore added.
This family and whole community, looking for a quick resolution, await Yele’s next court date on Dec 6.