Justice Ojukwu Orders Remand Of Sowore, Co-Defendant In DSS Custody


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal Court High Court Abuja has ordered the remand of the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, in the custody of the Department of State Security Service (DSS), pending the hearing of their bail application on Friday.

She gave the order Monday morning following their arraignment before her by the Federal government of Nigeria on seven counts of treasonable felony and other sundry offences.

They pleaded not guilty to the seven counts when read to them.

The defence lawyer, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), urged the court to allow Sowore to be allowed to continue with the bail earlier granted him by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, on September 24.

He had also asked that the second defendant be granted fresh bail.

However, Justice Ojukwu disagreed, saying since the bail earlier granted Sowore was not based on the charges on which he was arraigned on Monday, he needs a fresh bail application.

According to her, the application to grant them fresh bail must be formally written and not oral.

She therefore directed them to file formal bail application and then adjourned hearing till Friday.

The application is to be served on the lead prosecuting counsel, Hassan Liman (SAN), who indicated that he was going to oppose the application.

The judge earlier dismissed the objection of the defendants’ lawyer to the scheduled arraignment.

Olumide-Fusika had maintained that the arraignment should not be allowed to go on on the grounds that the Department of State Services, which has been keeping him in custody since August 3, 2019, had not allowed the defendants to consult with their lawyer after the charges were filed.

He added that the court should protect its integrity by refusing to allow the arraignment to proceed when the prosecution continued to disobey the court order made on September 24, 2019 for the release.

But the prosecution led by Hassan Liman (SAN) urged the court to dismiss the objection insisting that what was more important was that the defendants had been served with the charges.

Liman also said the order for the release of the defendants had lapsed since the defendants had been produced in court for arraignment.

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