Criminal Law

Judge recuses self from Sowore’s treason trial

Justice Obiora Egwuatu of the Federal High Court in Abuja, has recused himself from the trial of Omoyele Sowore, publisher of SaharaReporters; and Olawale Bakare in the treason charges brought against them by the Federal Government.
Justice Egwuatu was on Tuesday billed to take over the trial from Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who in July last year was transferred to the Calabar division of the court.
Egwuatu however returned the case file to the Chief Judge of the court, Justice John Tsoho pleading that he be excused from the trial.
No reason was given for his request.
Although Sowore was in court to take a fresh plea, the decision of the Judge scuttled the re-arraignment.
Meanwhile, the Chief Judge has however reassigned the case to a new Judge of the Court, Justice Emeka Nwite. application for adjournment.
Sowore and Bakare were initially standing trial on a seven-count charge before the Federal Government amended the charges, reducing them to two, which borders on treasonable felony.
The first count on the amended charge accused the publisher of the Sahara Reporter and his co-defendant of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony, contrary to section 516 of the Criminal Code Act, Cap C38 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under the same section of the Act.
Count two accused them of committing treasonable felony, contrary to section 41(a) of the Criminal Code Act Cap C38 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and punishable under same section of the Act.

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