Sowore and others in court
By Ikechukwu Nnochiri – Abuja
An Abuja Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Wuse Zone 2, on Tuesday, adjourned till Friday to rule on bail application that was filed by the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoleye Sowore, and four others that are standing trial with him for alleged unlawful assembly.
Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello, however, directed that Sowore and his co-Defendants- Juwon Sanyaolu, Peter Williams, Damilare Adenola, and Emmanuel Bulus- should be transferred from Kuje Correctional Center where they were previously remanded in, to the Force Criminal Investigation Department situated at Garki Area 10, Abuja.
Sowore, who arrived at the court in handcuffs, had in the course of the proceeding, complained about degrading treatment he said they were subjected to at the Kuje Correctional Center.
He told the court that the prison authorities denied them access to medical treatment, food, and water.
Following his complaint, aside from changing their place of remand, the court, directed the Police which is prosecuting the case, to provide the 3rd Defendant, Adenola who is a law student of the University of Abuja, with internet facilities and writing materials, to enable him to prepare for his examination.
The orders came after the court heard arguments from both the Prosecution counsel, Mr. Adama Musa and the Defence lawyer, Mr. Marshal Abubakar.
Whereas the Defence counsel urged the court to grant the Defendants bail, insisting that the charge against them contained bailable offences, the Prosecution however opposed the request.
The Prosecution had prayed the court to allow the Defendants to remain in custody pending the conclusion of ongoing investigations, even as it queried the legal propriety of allowing the Defendants to file joint affidavits for their release on bail.
It will be recalled that Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, AAC, in the last general election and publisher of an online news outlet, Sahara Reporters, was arrested on New Year’s Eve for leading a protest against bad governance in the country.
Police had in a three-count charge it entered before the court, alleged that the Defendants were arrested with placards that called for a violent revolution against President Muhammadu Buhari.
The charge, to which the Defendants pleaded their innocence after they were arraigned on Monday, bordered on criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and their alleged attempt to incite a public disturbance.
Sowore was previously detained for about five months after he was arrested in 2019 for convening the #RevolutionNow protest.
He was later charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja where he is currently answering to an amended two-count treasonable felony alongside his co-Defendant, Olawole Bakare.
The Defendants were specifically alleged in that charge to have conspired to stage a revolution campaign on August 5, 2019, tagged “#Revolution Now”, aimed at removing President Buhari from office as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria during his term of office, otherwise than by constitutional means.
Vanguard News Nigeria