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‘He wanted to bring down the govt’ — FG amends charges against Sowore

‘He wanted to bring down the govt’ — FG amends charges against Sowore
February 12
16:38 2020
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The federal government is set to re-arraign Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, on amended charges filed before a federal high court in Abuja.

Aminu Alilu, counsel for the prosecution, told the court on Wednesday that the office of the attorney-general of the federation (AGF) amended the previous charges against Sowore and Olawale Bakare, his co-defendant.

“The office of the AGF has taken over the matter and we have filed an amended charge,” he said.

He asked the court for adjournment to enable him serve the charges on the defense.

In the previous charge, Sowore and Bakare were arraigned on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting the president.

In the new charge sheet obtained by TheCable, they are to stand trial on two counts of treasonable felony.

The charges were brought pursuant to section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. c38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and Section 41(a) of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Count one of the charge reads: “That you Omoyele Stephen Sowore, male, adult of No. 1, Mosafejo Street, Kiribo, Ese-Odo LGA, Ondo State, Olawale Adebayo Bakare (A.K.A. Mandate) male, Adult of Olaiya Area, Oshogbo L.G.A, Osun State and others at large, under the aegis of Coalition for Revolution (CORE), sometimes in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst yourselves to stage a revolution campaign on 5th day of August 2019 tagged #RevolutionNow” aimed at removing the President and commander-in-chief of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means.”

Meanwhile, Sowore has complained that despite being released from custody of the Department of State Services (DSS), he is still under “city arrest”.

One of the conditions for bail imposed by Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial judge, is that Sowore, whom the DSS released on December 24, 2019, must not travel outside Abuja without the permission of the court.

Meanwhile, the activist told the court that he is yet to regain freedom.

“I don’t have a house in Abuja. I am suffering. I am not free in this country. We were released from one custody into another custody. I am under city arrest and that is custody. I am still in custody of the state and that’s not fair,” he said.

Olumide Fusika, Sowore’s counsel, corroborated his claims when he said if not for “the support of well wishers, maybe he (Sowore) would be sleeping under a bridge”.

He said his client has not seen his family since he was taken into custody in August 2019.

Ijeoma Ojukwu, the judge, held that the office of the attorney general of the federation (AGF) took over the prosecution of the case since December 2019, ought to have amended the charges and serve the other party with the necessary documents.

She ordered the prosecution to pay a fine of N200,000 to the defendants as consequences of their “attempt to delay the trial”.

The case was adjourned till Thursday.

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