FG drops treason charge against Sowore

THE Federal Government has dropped treason and felony charges against a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore. 

The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Lateef Fagbemi, filed a notice of discontinuance to inform the Federal High Court in Abuja of the decision to end the trial against Sowore, Sahara Reporters publishers.         

The notice was dated February 15, 2024.

The government stated in the notice that it also intended to drop the charges against Sowore’s co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.


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“Notice of discontinuance. By virtue of the power conferred on me under Section 174 (1) (c} of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, Section 107 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, SAN, intend to discontinue charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019,” the notice reads.

On Wednesday, February 14, the trial judge, Emeka Nwite, threatened to dismiss the case, which had been pending for more than four years.

The judge also asked the Federal Government’s prosecution team to take a position on the trial after the Federal Government’s attorneys clearly failed to state their case in court in November 2023.

Two days before the pro-democracy activist Sowore’s scheduled August 5, 2019, #RevolutionNow rally dubbed “Days of Rage,” he was arrested by the State Security Service (SSS) agents at midnight.

Sowore posted a distress tweet at exactly 1:25 a.m. just before his phone was confiscated from him, The 247ureports, an online newspaper, said.

On his Twitter handle, @YeleSowore posted a terse message at 1:25 a.m.: “DSS invades Sowore’s house”.

“He also tweeted ‘Jap’, confirming his phone must have been seized while trying to raise the alarm about his arrest,” Premium Times reported, quoting a statement from a close associate of Sowore.

Sowore was coordinating a national protest,  which he called ‘a day of rage’ in 21 states on Monday, August 5, against President Muhammadu Buhari’s government over maladministration and insecurity in the country.

He had promised to “shut down” the country on the day of the protest – which he claimed would be held simultaneously across the country’s cities.

The DSS repeatedly charged him after his arrest. However, after intense pressure, the African Action Congress (AAC) presidential candidate in the last general election was eventually freed.






     

     

    The legal team of human rights advocate Femi Falana, a senior advocate, represented Sowore in court.

    Responding to the termination of the case in court, Sowoore, in a post on X on Thursday,  described the trial as “fruitlessly malicious, tendencious and idiosyncratic.

    “Five years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria commenced a fruitlessly malicious, tendencious and idiosyncratic treason trial (persecution) against me and several other revolutionary comrades across Nigeria. We stood our ground and began a historic journey to liberate our country despite threats, the assassination of family members, state-sponsored violence and targeted attacks by security forces. We promised never to back down. 

    “Today, we have been vindicated on one front. The Nigerian government has terminated its own case against me, but we will not terminate our struggle for justice and liberty of our compatriots. We warned the @MBuhari regime and those who followed his ruinous path that they would face ultimate disgrace before long. We salute our revolutionary comrades. #RevolutionNow,” he posted.

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