Nigerian court orders remand of Sowore and his co-defendant in custody of the State Secret Police

Omoyele Sowore (left in white shirt) and his defense team
CC™ Global News 

Abuja - Nigeria. The Federal Court High Court in Abuja today ordered the remand of the organizer of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, in the custody of the State Security Service, pending the hearing of their bail application this Friday.

This followed the arraignment of the defendants on seven counts of treasonable felony and other capital offences instituted against them by the Nigerian government. The defendants pleaded not guilty to the seven counts when read to them.

After the defendants took their pleas, the defense 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, 2019.

The defense lawyer also pleaded that the second defendant be granted fresh bail. The judge however said since the bail earlier granted Sowore was not predicated on the charges on which he was arraigned on Monday, a fresh bail had to be granted to him.

She added that if she would have to grant them fresh bail, it had to be based on formal written formal bail application and not oral.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu then directed the defense counsel 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.