Journalism of Courage

Again Sowore May Be Re-arraigned on Monday


By Kunle Akinsola

After disobeying a lawful court order, the Federal Government concluded plans to re-arraign Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, on Monday at another Federal High Court in Abuja.

This time around, the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is filling a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony, money laundering and cybercrimes against Sowore.

The Department of State Services (DSS) had arraigned Sowore on Sept. 24 after detaining the former presidential candidate of AAA since Aug. 3.

It has continued to keep him in custody in violation of the court order granting him bail six days ago.

On Aug. 8,  Justice Taiwo Taiwo of a Federal High Court granted the DSS permission to hold the activist for 45, and despite meeting the bail conditions since Sept. 25 Sowore has not been released by the DSS.

In the fresh charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution is accusing Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, of treasonable felony in breach of Section 516 of the Criminal Code.

The prosecution alleges 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 protest 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.”

Sowore is also accused of money laundering offences in breach of section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 by alleged 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.

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