AGF Takes Over Sowore’s Trial
The Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, has taken over the prosecution of media publisher and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowore.
The AGF took over from the State Security Service which had been prosecuting the treasonable felony case against Sowore. The prosecutor informed the Federal High Court about the change at the resumed hearing on Wednesday.
The court was also told that an amended charge has been filed, but the defendant is yet to be served.
The prosecutor asked the court for time to serve Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare after Wednesday’s trial, so they will be arraigned on Thursday.
But the defence team was unhappy with the change. Sowore’s counsel wondered why the prosecution is finding it difficult to articulate its case after a “media trial.” The defence wants the case struck out for “want of diligent prosecution.”
Soyinka, Sani, Odinkalu Also in Court
Sowore and Bakare didn’t come to court without support. Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka, Senator Shehu Sani and former Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu came to court seemingly to show their support for the convener of the Revolution Now protests.
Sani went to exchange pleasantries with Soyinka who was already seated in court, as soon as he arrived. He described Sowore as a “friend and brother”. The Nobel laureate declined to comment.
Sowore vs the State
Sowore and Bakare are standing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, cyber-stalking, fraud and insulting the president.
Sowore was arrested on August 3, just before a nationwide protest he had called, tagged Revolution Now.
He was held in the custody of the SSS for 124 days before he was released. He was rearrested at the Federal High Court in Abuja less than 24 hours after his freedom.
This prompted national and international condemnation, including from the United States Senate. He was eventually released on December 24.
Sowore has been a critic of the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and ran for the presidency in 2019.