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Court grants Sowore extension to file appeal challenging bail terms

Court grants Sowore extension to file appeal challenging bail terms
June 29
16:18 2021

The court of appeal sitting in Abuja has granted an application by Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, to file a notice of appeal against his bail terms.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had arrested Sowore in Lagos on August 3, 2019, and was later moved to Abuja.

The federal government had charged Sowore with treasonable felony, “insulting” President Muhammadu Buhari and money laundering.

The court had granted Sowore N100 million bail with two sureties who must be residents in Abuja and have landed properties within the federal capital territory (FCT).

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The court had held that the sureties must deposit original documents of those properties.

The judge also ordered that one of the sureties must deposit N50 million with the court pending the determination of the case

While barring Sowore from travelling outside Abuja, the judge ordered him to deposit his passport with the court.

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Subsequently, Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial judge, set aside the previous order on Sowore’s surety depositing N50m, holding that the surety could deposit N30 million.

She also reduced the bail sum of Olawale Bakare, Sowore’s co-defendant, to N30m instead of the initial N50m.

But she refused to alter all the other conditions for bail.

Femi Falana, Sowore’s counsel, had approached the court seeking an alteration of the previous bail conditions which he said were stringent, and thus, could not be met.

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In the sitting on Tuesday, Marshall Abubakar, Sowore’s lawyer, urged the court to grant an order “extending the time within which the applicant/appellant may file his notice of appeal against the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division in CHARGE NO. FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019, between FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V OMOYELE SOWORE and 1 other delivered by His Lordship, Honourable Justice ljeoma Ojukwu, on the 21st day of October 2019, the time within which to file same having elapsed”.

He also asked to withdraw prayer 2 which is an order “deeming the applicant’s/appellant’s Notice of Appeal filed against the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja Judicial Division in CHARGE NO. FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019, between FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA V OMOYELE SOWORE & 1 other delivered by His Lordship, Honourable Justice ljeoma Ojukwu, on the 21st day of October 2019, a proposed copy attached herewith as “Exhibit A” and filed separately at the Registry of this Honourable Court as a separate process, as having been properly filed and served on the respondent”.

Moore Adumein, the judge, granted the applicant’s motion “to file a notice of appeal at the registry of the federal high court Abuja 14 days from today” and struck out the second request.

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