Abuja – The Federal Government on Monday arraigned the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, on a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering allegations.
The government accused Sowore and Adebayo Bakare of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019 aimed at removing the president and commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of treasonable felony in breach of section 4 (1) (c) of the Criminal Code Act by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos, and other parts of Nigeria to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the president.
Sowore’s ordeal started when he convened a nationwide protest against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, tagged “RevolutionNow”.
He was arrested in the wee hours of Saturday, August 3, in a hotel in Lagos by men of the DSS on account of the #RevolutionNow protest which he had spearheaded.
On August 8, Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted the DSS an ex parte order for the detention of Sowore for 45 days, pending conclusion of investigation on his activities.
However, a day to the expiration of the ex parte order, the DSS filed charges against Sowore.
But on August 24, Justice Taiwo ordered the release of the defendant because, according to the judge, the order of detention made on August 8 had elapsed.
On Monday, the defendant, charged alongside Adebayo Bakare, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Meanwhile, an oral bail application by Adeyinka Olumidefisika was made for the second defendant but was rejected by the presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Justice Ojukwu rather advised the defence to, within a short period, file an application for bail for both defendants.
She also noted that the previous ruling on bail for the defendants by Justice Taiwo was not premised on the charges before her court.
The court, therefore, ruled that the defendants be remanded in DSS custody pending hearing of the bail application on Friday, October 4.