Sowore pleads not guilty to fresh charges; court remands him in DSS custody

Omowole Sowore, the Presidential Candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23, 2019 poll

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court in Abuja on Thursday ordered the remand of Omoyele Sowore, the man spearheading the #RevolutionNow protest, in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).

Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, who pleaded not guilty to the charges brought against them, were remanded in DSS custody pending the hearing of their bail application.

The Federal Government had brought a 7-counts of treasonable felony against them on Monday, but they pleaded not guilty.

Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), the defence lawyer, had urged Justice Ojukwu to allow Sowore and Bakare continue with the bail Justice Taiwo Taiwo had granted them last week.

But the judge however noted that the defendant needed to be granted fresh bail since the earlier bail granted by her colleague was on a different charge. She directed them to formally file for a new bail.

Hassan Liman (SAN), the counsel to the prosecution, had objected Sowore’s lawyer’s request to dismiss the arraignment on Monday.

Sowore’s lawyer noted that the DSS did not only disobey court order to release Sowore, but also deny him access to consult with his lawyer. He urged the court to protect its integrity by refusing to allow the arraignment to proceed.

Liman however urged the court to dismiss the request, saying that the defendants had already been served with new charges and that the earlier release order had lapsed.

Justice Ojukwu consequently remanded Sowore and Bakare in DSS custody, directed Sowore’s lawyer to file for bail formally, and adjourned hearing till Friday.

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