The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, refused to grant the application by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, AGF, seeking the revocation of bail granted to Omoyele Sowore, Convener, #RevolutionNow, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, who turned down the request of the AGF’s Counsel, Kayode Alilu, adjourned the matter until Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 for trial continuation.
Recall that the Federal Government had on February 13 re-arraigned Messrs Sowore and Bakare on fresh charges.
The charges include: ”Conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, contrary to Section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004; and treasonable felony, contrary to Section 41(a) of the Criminal Code Act, Cap. C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, which are punishable under the same section of the Act.”
However, Mr Sowore (1st defendant) and Mr Bakare (2nd defendant) pleaded not guilty to the amended two-count charge.
When the matter was called at the resumed trial on Wednesday, though counsel to the parties were in court, Sowore and Bakare were conspicuously absent.
Lawyer to Messrs Sowore and Bakare, Marshal Abubakar, who held brief for Femi Falana, SAN, told the court that Mr Sowore, though he was in Abuja, he was indisposed.
He also said that Mr Bakare could not come to court because of the ongoing #EndSARS protest which had crippled activities in Osun where he presently resides.
Mr Alilu then applied that the court should issue a bench warrant against the defendants and likewise revoke the bail granted them having not been in the court for their trial.
The lawyer argued that there was no evidence of medical report showing that Mr Sowore was ill and that the excuse by Mr Bakare of lockdown in the state where he resides was not tenable.
According to him, they have no reason not to be in court having not been here in the last adjourned date.
Mr Abubakar objected to Mr Alilu’s application.
He said that Mr Falana, who he represented, would have loved to be in court but for the crisis in Lagos which had led to the 24-hour curfew.
He said the same scenario was what happened to Mr Bakare.
The counsel, who informed that Mr Sowore had just developed malaria symptoms and could not have gotten a medical report, then told the court that he had had a message from the 1st defendant that he was on his way to the court.
Justice Ojukwu, therefore, said when Mr Sowore arrived in the court she should be notified.
The judge, who declined to grant Alilu’s request, adjourned the matter until December 10 and 11 for trial continuation.
However, after about an hour, Mr Sowore, accompanied by some youth, entered the courtroom.
His lawyer, Mr Abubakar, then stood up to inform the court of his client’s arrival shortly after a case was adjourned.
Justice Ojukwu then asked parties to appear on the next adjourned date.