#RevolutionNow protests: FG to arraign Sowore Monday

The Federal Government will on Monday arraign the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Omoyele Sowore, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters will be arraigned on seven counts of treasonable felony, money laundering and cybercrimes slammed against him by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation.

The former presidential candidate has been in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) since August 3, despite a court order granting him bail last week.

Recall that Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who earlier on August 8, granted the DSS permission to hold the activist for 45 days, had on September 24, granted him bail and despite meeting the bail condition on September 25, Sowore has not been released by the DSS.

Sowore, it was learnt, will be arraigned on the seven-count charge before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu.

The DSS on August 3, 2019, arrested Sowore for calling for a revolution through a protest scheduled to hold on August 5.

On August 8, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High in Abuja granted the DSS permission to hold the activist in custody for 45 days.

Barely 24 hours before the expiration of the 45 days period on September 21, the AGF office, on September 20, filed seven counts against the activist.

On September 24, upon a request by Sowore’s legal team led by Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Justice Taiwo Taiwo granted bail to him with the sole condition that he deposit his passport in the court’s registry. He has since met the bail condition.

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In the charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution accused Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, of committing conspiracy to commit a treasonable felony in breach of Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act.

The prosecution alleged that the defendants committed the offence by allegedly staging “a revolution campaign on August 5, 2019, aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of treasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protests allegedly aimed at removing the President.

It also accused Sowore of cybercrime offences in violation of section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, by “knowingly” sending “messages by means of press interview granted on Arise Television network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

It also accused Sowore of money laundering offences in breach of section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 by allegedly transferring by means of swift wire, various sums of money from his United Bank of Africa Plc account with number 3002246104 into Sahara Reporters Media Foundation’s account with Guaranty Trust Bank in order to conceal the origin of the funds.

The DSS has continued to hold Sowore in custody since August 3, 2019, in violation of the order by Justice Taiwo granting the activist bail.

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