By Olalekan Awojodu
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court Abuja Wednesday refused to revoke bail granted the Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare.
After turning down the request of the AGF’s Counsel, Kayode Alilu, the trial judge adjourned the matter until Dec. 10 and Dec. 11 for continuation of trial.
Justice Ojukwu then ordered parties to appear on the next adjourned date.
The application for the revocation is coming after fresh charges were leveled against the duo by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF).
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.”
But both Sowore (1st defendant) and Bakare (2nd defendant) have since pleaded not guilty to the amended two-count charge.
At the resumed trial, both counsels to the parties were in court, Sowore and Bakare were conspicuously absent.
Their counsel Marshal Abubakar, who held brief for Femi Falana, SAN, told the court that although Sowore was in Abuja, but was indisposed.
According to him, Bakare too could not come to court because of the ongoing #EndSARS protest which had crippled activities in Osun where he presently resides.
Alilu thereafter 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.
In his argument, the prosecutor insisted that there was no evidence of a medical report showing that Sowore was ill, saying the lockdown excuse adduced by Bakare was not tenable.
He argued further that they have no reason not to be in court having not been there in the last adjourned date.
While objecting to Alilu’s application, Abubakar said 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.
The counsel, who informed that 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 then told them to inform him whenever Sowore arrived in the court.
An hour later while the proceeding was still going on Sowore entered the courtroom in company of some youth.
At that point, his lawyer, Abubakar, then stood up to inform the court of his client’s arrival shortly after the case was adjourned.