Tag Archives: sowore

Mixed actions after Police refuse to present Sowore, others in Court

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She also scheduled today, Friday, by 11am to rule on the bail application filed by their lawyer, Marshal Abubakar.

The presiding Magistrate, Mabel Segun-Bello, had on Wednesday ordered the activists be remanded at Force Criminal Investigation Department, located at Area 10.

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There was a palpable tension on the premises of Wuse, Zone 2, Magistrates’ Court Abuja as authorities of the Nigerian government and the police refused to produce the human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, and four others in court in an attempt to frustrate their bail application.

The presiding Magistrate, Mabel Segun-Bello, had on Wednesday ordered the activists be remanded at Force Criminal Investigation Department, located at Area 10.


FLASH: @PoliceNG Fail To Bring @YeleSowore To Court For Bail Application, Say No Vehicle#FreeSoworeNow

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NoRM gathered that the police refused to bring the activists to court following a signal that their case files had been transferred from the FCT Commissioner of Police to the Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of the Force Criminal Investigation Department.

Noble Reporters Media also gathered that there was also a document from the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation directing the case file to be transferred to the Directorate of Public Prosecution.

FLASH: Nigeria’s Attorney General, @MalamiSAN Secretly Takes Over @YeleSowore’s Court Hearing As Revenge Against Reports By SaharaReporters Exposing Series Of Corruption Activities By His Family#FreeSoworeNow

He explained that there was no lawyer from the office of the DPP and the police had also refused to bring the defendants to court.

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Abubakar described the latest plot by the Nigerian government and the police to subvert justice.

The activists have not yet arrived in the court as a large crowd of their supporters have gathered on the premises, chanting solidarity songs and threatening to storm the Force Criminal Investigation Department.

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#Newsworthy

Update: Court orders Sowore, others be remanded in Kuje prison

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Sowore was arrested by the police for leading a protest against bad governance on New Year’s Eve in Abuja.

The Magistrate court in Abuja has ordered the remand of Omoyele Sowore and four others at Kuje Correctional Centre.

Their formal bail application will be heard tomorrow, January 5, 2020.

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He is being arraigned alongside four others by the Federal Government on three charges of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and attempting to incite others.

They all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

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#Newsworthy

Omoyele Sowore’s arrest not safe – CNG

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Sowore had earlier been arrested on August 3, 2019, in Lagos by the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency with a history of repression.

The Coalition of Northern Groups has joined the growing voices of condemnation of the arrest and detention of human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, by the Nigeria Police Force on New Year’s Eve.

The coalition said it viewed the arrest of Sowore, along with four other activists during a candlelight procession to usher in the New Year in Abuja as another “sign of brutal encroachments on people’s fundamental rights – a misconduct which is becoming the hallmark of this administration.”

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The CNG in a release signed by its Spokesperson, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, stated that it views Sowore’s arrest as “indiscriminate, unwarranted, uncalled for and downright unacceptable and a dangerous tendency towards totalitarian oppression and suppression of people’s rights.”

Suleiman said, “The Coalition of Northern Groups wishes to join the Nigerian civil rights community in condemning the arrest and detention of Sowore by the Nigeria police on New Year’s Eve.

“CNG views the arrest of Sowore, along with four of his friends during a candlelight procession to usher in the New Year in Abuja, as another sign of brutal encroachments on people’s fundamental rights that is becoming the hallmark of this administration.

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“We remind the government and its agencies that the universal right to move freely means that a person cannot be arbitrarily forced to remain in, or move to or from a particular place.

“The right includes freedom from physical and procedural barriers, like requiring permission before entering a public park or participating in a public demonstration in a public place.

“Based on the above premise, we view Sowore’s arrest for participating in a religious rite indiscriminate, unwarranted, uncalled for and downright unacceptable and a dangerous tendency towards totalitarian oppression and suppression of people’s rights.”

He was moved to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja where he was illegally detained for 144 days despite different court orders for his release.

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The Department State Services accused Sowore of baseless crimes like money laundering. The security agency claimed he was plotting to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari even though it failed to produce evidence to substantiate its claim.

He was subsequently arraigned for treason but had pleaded not guilty. The activist cum journalist was granted bail in November 2020, but part of the conditions restricts him to Abuja.

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#Newsworthy

Sowore begins ‘hunger strike’ after alleged arrest

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Sowore and others were arrested while embarking on a procession to enter the New Year.

Human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore, has commenced hunger strike in police detention as he rejected all the foods and clothes taken to him by his family.

This was due to the refusal by the police to allow the relatives of the activist who had brought some of his books to him in the custody, give them to him.

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Injured Sowore in custody of the Nigeria Police
Sowore had asked one of his brothers to bring his books for him to read and refresh his mind but he was prevented from taking the books inside.

The action compelled the activist to reject the foods, clothes and other items that were brought for him.

He vowed not to eat any of the foods unless the police allowed him to have access to his books.

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He said, “I cannot feed my stomach when I haven’t fed my brain.”

Also his colleagues, who were arrested alongside him, have joined in the hunger strike.

It will be recalled that Sowore had earlier been arrested on August 3, 2019, in Lagos by the Department of State Services, Nigeria’s domestic intelligence agency with a history of repression.

He was moved to the agency’s headquarters in Abuja where he was illegally detained for 144 days despite different court orders for his release.

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The DSS accused Sowore of baseless crimes like money laundering. The security agency claimed he was plotting to overthrow President Muhammadu Buhari even though it failed to produce evidence to substantiate its claim.

He was subsequently arraigned for treason but had pleaded not guilty. The activist cum journalist was granted bail in November 2020, but part of the conditions restricts him to Abuja.

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#Newsworthy

Omoyele Sowore arrested during cross over protest

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The protesters were reportedly wounded before they were allegedly taken and detained at the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit in the capital city.

A former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was arrested in the company of other activists participating in a protest against the Nigerian government in the early hours of Friday, January 1, 2021.

According to a report by Sahara Reporters, owned by Sowore, security operatives attacked and arrested the protesters during a peaceful procession to mark the new year in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Sowore had announced on Thursday, December 31, 2020 for a nationwide crossover protest against the Buhari administration.

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“How about a CrossOver Protest/Uprising tonight? Anyone willing to participate? Pick up a candle and a placard showing your grievances against the regime, let’s upload our short videos and photos across our Social Media platforms,” he posted on his Twitter account.

The crossover protest also held in Ondo and Kaduna as Nigerians celebrated the new year.

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#Newsworthy

EndSARs: Sowore, Deji Adeyanju kicks off protest in Abuja.

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While many people have alleged that this is a political move by Sowere, others feel that it is a legit move to end SARS permanently.

The End SARS protest started a few weeks ago after a series of killings were carried out by the officers of the NIGERIA police.

The protests ended abruptly on the 20th of October, 2020 after the alleged Lekki toll gate shooting.

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While many have decided to take their protest online, Sowere who is the leader of the “Revolution now” group has a different idea.

He has begun to spring up the end SARS protest once more in Abuja, though with a small group of people, he has applied a new method to begin his end SARS protest.

He has painted a major road in Abuja with the EndSARs words while he and his small group kept chanting EndSARs now.


#Newsworthy…

#RevolutionNow: Nigerian forces dismisses Abuja protesters | Photos

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The Department of State Services, Nigerian Police Force, and the Army have dispersed the #RevoltuionNow protesters in Abuja.

The security officials were said to have pursed both protesters and journalists from the scene of the protest.

Although the leader of the movement, Omoyele Sowore is not among the demonstrators but the leader of today’s protest Mr Pelumi Olajegbensi, has called for a change in government, insisting there is need for political revolution.

He accused the Federal Government of failing to protect Nigerians, citing insecurity, growing unemployment amongst other issues.

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“There is a need for us as young people who are interested in the future of this country to raise our voices so we can be heard.

“Nigeria is currently in a state of emergency, our country has been reduced to a state of surrender; we cannot continue like this.

“Today, we are concerned as young people that a lot of our youths graduate from tertiary institutions and are unemployed because there is no job for them, this has increased the rate of crime in the country.

“Our demand today is for a conscious political revolution, a need for change in leadership”, he stressed.

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Mr Olajegbensi also called for a revamp in various sectors of the economy.

Noble Reporters Media took pictures from the activities below;


#Newsworthy…

Storyline: FG’s plan to rearrest Sowore leaks

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Nigerian Government has continued to adopt various strategies to keep the activist out of circulation including a plot to now rearrest him for no reason.


The national leadership of the African Action Congress has accused the Nigerian Government of planning to rearrest Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener of #RevolutionNow Movement.

According to the AAC, the government planned using the Department of State Services to rearrest Sowore, who is the National Chairman of the party, and other activists on Friday and put them away before August 5, which is the first anniversary of the now famous #RevolutionNow protest.

“We have be informed about a plan to rearrest our National Chairman, @YeleSowore, and urge all Nigerians and @aacparty members nationwide and globally to be on alert as we will not tolerate another lawless and repressive act from @MBuhari regime.”

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Sowore was arrested in the early hours of August 3, 2019 by operatives of the Department of State Services for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations on August 5 to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari.

Omoyele Sowore

He was kept in unlawful detention from that period until December 5, 2019 when he was finally released on bail despite two court orders earlier sanctioning his freedom.

In a twist of event, DSS operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2019 to rearrest him without any court order.

He remained in unlawful detention until 18 days later when he was released by the secret police for the second time.

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At the resumption of his trial in a case brought against him by the Nigerian Government, the prosecution failed to prove accusations against him and even went ahead to dropping seven of the charges earlier preferred against him.

Groups and high-raking individuals from around the world have described the charges against Sowore as baseless and a waste of time.

The journalist remains confined to Abuja as one of his bail conditions forbids him from leaving the city or speaking with journalists until the end of his trial.

The Nigerian Government has continued to adopt various strategies to keep the activist out of circulation including a plot to now rearrest him for no reason.


#Newsworthy…

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Shehu Sani visit Abuja court again to support Sowore.


A former lawmaker representing Kaduna Central Senatorial District, Shehu Sani, has arrived the Federal High Court, Abuja, in solidarity with rights activist and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, who is standing trial for treason.

Sani walked into the courtroom shortly after the commencement of proceedings for the day.

During the trial in February, Sani together with Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka and Prof Chidi Odinkalu all made appearances to support Sowore.


#Newsworthy…

Court adjourns sowore’s case to April 1 since no witness show up.


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, has adjourned the trial of rights activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare until April 1, 2020.

Ojukwu, who was angry at the way the prosecution was delaying the trial, adjourned the case at the instance of the objection raised by lead defence counsel, Femi Falana, when the first prosecution witness, Rasheed Olawale, was giving evidence out of the summary statement.


Falana urged the court to limit and restrict the witness to the summary of the statement that was made available to them by the prosecution.

He argued that the evidence being given by the witness was mischievous and alien to section 36 of the constitution that guarantees fair hearing.


In his own submission, prosecution counsel, A.A Aliyu, asked the court to dismiss Falana’s objection on the grounds that the evidence given by the witness would not amount to miscarriage of justice as painted by the defence.

The trial judge therefore asked the prosecution to reproduce the witness statement in details to accommodate whatever evidence the witness want to give whenever it was called upon.

The judge said, “Serve them these evidence, I don’t know what is difficult in that. Serve them all the evidence you want to rely on.

“That should not be difficult and that is the provision of the law.”


#Newsworthy…

Buhari-Regime seek to file witness against Sowore.

..says he is trying to overthrow Buhari govt

...trial resumes on March 12, 2020


The Nigerian Government has filed a motion to mask its witnesses in the case against Omoyele Sowore.

Sowore is currently under trial for planning a protest demanding good governance from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.


The trial was adjourned to continue on March 11,12 and 13 after failure of the Department of State Services to give Sowore and his legal team necessary documents to argue their case.

In a Facebook post on Friday, Sowore revealed that the government had filed a motion to mask its witnesses.


He wrote, “UPDATE: Just now the @MBuhari regime filed a motion in court that they want to mask their witnesses in the #RevolutionNow trial scheduled for next week.

“Same prosecutors said they were ready for trial last month with unmasked witnesses!‬


“This is their latest tactic to seek another adjournment! Funny people!”

Earlier this week, United States-based advocacy organisation, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, said that Sowore was being persecuted by the Nigerian Government for speaking truth to the leadership of the country.


In a recent documentary detailing how the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari had infringed upon the right of the journalist for simply criticising its failures, the international rights group condemned the attempt by the Nigerian Government to silence critics and shrink the civic space.

Sowore was arrested in the early hours of August 3, 2019 by operatives of the Department of State Services for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations on August 5 and was kept in unlawful detention from that period until December 5, 2019 when he was finally released on bail despite two court orders earlier sanctioning his freedom.


In a twist of event, DSS operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2019 to rearrest him without any court order.

He remained in unlawful detention until 18 days later when he was released by the secret police for the second time.


At the resumption of his trial in a case brought against him by the Nigerian Government, the prosecution failed to prove accusations against him and even went ahead to dropping seven of the charges earlier preferred against him.

The trial resumes on March 12, 2020 in this time government is accusing him of attempting to overthrow Buhari’s administration by calling on citizens to protest against the regime.

Groups and high-raking individuals from around the world have described the charges against Sowore as baseless and a waste of time.

The journalist remains confined to Abuja as one of his bail conditions forbids him from leaving the city or speaking with journalists until the end of his trial.

https://m.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160132588857837&set=a.10154150055247837&type=3&refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fsaharareporters.com%2F2020%2F03%2F06%2Fbreaking-nigerian-government-seeks-mask-witnesses-case-against-sowore


#Newsworthy…

March 25th set for Bakare, Sowore’s suit against AGF, other


A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed March 25, 2020, for the hearing of the N1 billion fundamental rights enforcement suit filed by activist and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, and Olawale Bakare.


The duo filed their separate suits against the Director-General of the Department of State Service, Yusuf Bichi, and the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, over their alleged illegal detention, prior to their release in December 2019.

Sowore and Bakare are being prosecuted by the Federal Government on charges of treasonable felony, in November 2019.


Operatives of the DSS arrested Mr Sowore in Lagos on August 2, 2019, and Bakare in Osogbo, Osun State, on August 5, 2019, for organising a protest tagged #RevolutionNow, which the Federal Government alleged was aimed at toppling the regime of the President, Muhammadu Buhari.

At the resumed hearing of their fundamental rights enforcement suits, Justice Inyang Ekwo in separate proceedings fixed the hearing of the two suits for March 25 after granting the applications for the regularisation of some processes filed out of time by the parties.

Messrs Sowore and Bakare who were detained in the custody of the DSS from August to December 2019 are demanding N500m damages each in their separate suits.

The applicants also want the court to declare that their arrest without warrant of arrest “is illegal as it violates” their fundamental right ‘to personal liberty’.


#Newsworthy…

Prosecuting Sowore, waste of time – Wole Soyinka tells Buhari


Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, has described the prosecution of Omoyele Sowore as a waste of time and the nation’s resources.

Soyinka, who spoke during an interview session with Plus TV Africa, also slammed Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, saying he had committed a lot of blunders in his administration.


Speaking on the ongoing prosecution of Sowore by the government for calling for a peaceful protest, he lamented that the government was wasting the nation’s resources to prosecute the case.

He also condemned the bail conditions Sowore was admitted to, which includes his confinement to Abuja even though Sowore had no place of residence in that city.


He said, “I don’t understand why this young man is being barricaded in one city that is not his own with very stringent bail conditions and the whole exercise, this is punitive and petulant.

“The case is time-wasting and person-wasting and also wasting the time of lawyers who could be attending to far more serious cases.


“Definitely, time-wasting and wasting of public expenses and attention on serious issues.”

Soyinka, who was at the court to witness the trial last week, berated the prosecuting team for displaying lack of readiness to get done with the matter.

Wole Soyinka | Omoyele Sowore

He added, “The prosecution was obviously not prepared to move on after this long adjournment and to see the fireworks they have in their stock but we didn’t, I can’t understand this nonsense.”

Soyinka described Buhari as one, who wakes up late to happenings in the country.


#Newsworthy…

#RevolutionNow: Court demands N200,000 damage for Sowore from DSS


Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Security(DSS) to pay N200,000 as damages to the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore.

The judge said the cost is the consequence of the prosecution’s attempt to delay the trial.

At the court session on Wednesday, Aliyu Halilu, prosecution lawyer, said the charges against the defendants have been amended but that they are yet to be served on them.


Haliyu asked the court to adjourn the case till Thursday for the trial to commence.

Olumide Fusika, Sowore’s counsel, opposed Halilu’s request for an adjournment and asked the court to strike out the case for “lack of diligent prosecution”.


He said even if the adjournment is granted, the trial cannot commence on Thursday because the prosecution is yet to comply with the order of the court which asks it to furnish the defence with statements of the witnesses they intend to call.

Fusika said the prosecution is more interested in subjecting his client to ridicule than trial.


He said Sowore has not seen his family since he was arrested and that if not for “the support of well-wishers, maybe he would be sleeping under a bridge”.

Sowore’s lawyer also said: “This morning, my colleague Marshal approached Mr Halilu to request if there was anything to be served on us and he gave the impression that there was nothing.”


When asked by the judge, a clerk in the court, said indeed Marshal came to him to inquire if the prosecution had filed new processes. He said he directed the counsel back to the prosecution lawyer.

But the prosecution denied the inquiry and asked the judge to reject the submissions of the defendant.


Delivering a ruling, the judge said: “The honourable court views the delay as uncalled for and the application for adjournment as frivolous in view of the reasons for the adjournment sought.”

“Each party is entitled to five adjournments. The prosecution has almost exhausted her five adjournments even before the commencement of trial. There are consequences for every infraction.

“Premised on the provision of section 396(6) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the prosecution has earned the award of cost against them. Prosecution shall pay a cost of N200,000 to the defence as a consequence of frivolous adjournments.”

Sowore and Bakare are standing trial on seven counts of treasonable felony, fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting the president.


#Newsworthy…

Bakare, Sowore’s trial will resume tomorrow #RevolutionNow


The trial of Omoyele Sowore, Convener, #RevolutionNow, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, will, on Wednesday, resume before Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
Although the hearing was scheduled to begin today, Tuesday, the absence of the presiding judge stalled the trial.
At about 9a.m. when media visited Court 7 on the fourth floor of the building, the courtroom was empty aside from the court registrar and few workers doing their official assignment.


On the cause list attendance, Sowore’s case with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CR/956/2019 was on item nine according to the serial number.
An inquiry made on why the matter could not be heard today revealed that Justice Ijeoma was said to be sitting outside the court’s division.


N.Rs reports that Sowore and Bakare were, on Dec. 24, 2019, released from the Department of State Services (DSS)’s custody by the Federal Government.
Prior to this development, Justice Inyang Ekwo had, on Dec. 17, 2019, fixed Dec. 23, 2019, to hear from the DSS and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) why Sowore should not be released from custody.

Sowore, through his lawyer, Falana, had filed a motion ex-parte before Justice Ekwo to demand for his unconditional release from the DSS detention in pursuance of the release order made by Justice Ojukwu on Nov. 6, 2019.


However, the matter could not be heard and it was later reassigned to Justice Ahmed Mohammed.

And on Dec. 23, 2019, Justice Mohammed recused himself from the suit brought by Sowore before him.


Mohammed, who made his intention known to parties at the mention of the motion ex-parte with suit number: FHC/ABJ/CS/1409/19, said his decision was due to a publication of bribery allegation against him by Sahara Reporters owned by Mr Sowore.

The operatives of the DSS had rearrested Sowore shortly after a court proceeding on Dec. 6, 2019 barely 24 hours of releasing him and his co-defendant, Bakare, from custody.


Justice Ojukwu had fixed Feb. 11 as next adjourned date.

However, Abubakar Malami, SAN, the AGF and Minister of Justice, had also, on Dec. 13, 2019, announced his take over of the prosecution of Sowore in the charge of treasonable felony levied against him.

The development came as a result of the criticism their rearrest had generated.

N.Rs reports that Sowore, alongside Olawale Bakare, were on Aug. 5, 2019, arrested and charged by the DSS with treasonable felony, money laundering, among others.


#Newsworthy ..

Shocker: Principal took to his heels as ‘Sowore’ matches Abuja public school to teach [Drama] ..


Omoyele Sowore has narrated a hilarious occurrence that he experienced on Monday, at one of the government’s public school in the state.

Sowore narrated that he set out on Monday, January 27, to visit one of the public schools in Abuja and also teach the students either government or geography but to his surprise, the principal disappeared immediately he and his colleagues entered the school premises.

He tweeted: “You may find this funny or even curious, today I set out to look for a public school where I could teach “Government” or Geography while sitting idle in Abuja so we set out to a public school but by the time we arrived there the principal had disappeared on us.”


Some of the Twitter users who commented on Sowore’s tweet said that the principal should be punished for his action.

A Twitter user, Mohammed Sakiwa, said the principal should be disciplined for allowing such in his school. He said the principal should have challenged Sowore’s inappropriate appearance at the school.


#Newsworthy…

Sowore after release dancing to Naira Marley’s Soapy (Video)


This is an exciting moment the convener of #RevolutionNow and the CEO of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore was dancing to “Soapy” by Naira Marley.

Mr. Sowore who was recently released by DSS was seen clad with the RevolutionNow beret. The former presidential candidate under the umbrella of AAC shows his ‘soapy’ skills as he vibes to the song.

Sowore has been unusually quite in recent times as he spends much of his time with his fellow activists.


#Newsworthy…

FG don’t have the right to detain sowore, others over court orders – Femi Falana


Since the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki from illegal custody on December 24, 2019, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami (SAN), has put himself under undue pressure.

In the process, he has embarrassed the executive and exposed the judiciary to ridicule.


After announcing that he had directed the State Security Service to release Sowore and Dasuki from custody in compliance with the court orders that had granted them bail, the Justice Minister turned round to say that the release was an act of compassion and mercy on the part of the executive.

I was compelled to challenge the claim of the Justice Minister as he lacks the power to release any person standing trial on compassionate grounds by virtue of section 175 of the constitution.


After he had rightly abandoned that dangerous legal route, Mr Malami has since asserted that Nigerian Government was right to have detained Sowore and Dasuki in defiance of the court orders which had admitted them to bail. In support of the outlandish contention, the Justice Minister said that the government was not bound to obey the court orders until the final determination of the appeals filed against the court orders.

In an interview aired on NTA last Thursday, the Justice Minister said, “There were appeals (sic) for stay of execution all through.


“So, until those matters reach the Supreme Court and the apex court takes the final decision, relating there, you are still operating within the ambit and context of rule of law… So, in respect of those orders, we are not comfortable with as a government, we go back to the court and have them challenged. Until that matter, that your right of challenge, is determined up to the Supreme Court level, the idea of you being charged with disobedience of court order does not arise.”

With respect, the minister’s statement is factually and legally erroneous in every material particular. If the Justice Minister has had time to review Sowore’s case file, which he had withdrawn from the State Security Service, he would have confirmed that no appeal was filed against the two decisions of the Federal High Court, which admitted him and his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare, to bail. Instead of challenging the orders granting bail to Sowore and Bakare at the Court of Appeal, the State Security Service had actually attempted to constitute itself into an appellate court over the Federal High Court by insisting on approving the sureties that had been verified by the trial court.


As defence counsel, we rejected the illegal request to produce the sureties before the Director-General of the State Security Service until Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu gave him a 24-hour ultimatum to release the duo from illegal custody.

It is on record that Dasuki was granted bail at different times by six judges of the Federal High Court and the Federal Capital Territory High Court.


It is pertinent to note that the Nigerian Government did not file an appeal against any of the six court orders. In fact, the first bail application of Dasuki was not opposed by Mohammed Diri Esq., who was the then Director of Public Prosecutions from the chambers of the Attorney-General of the Federation. Hence, Dasuki was admitted to bail in self recognisance on August 30, 2015. Having not opposed the bail application, government could not have filed any appeal against the order of the court.

Apparently frustrated with the contemptuous conduct of the Nigerian Government, Dasuki approached the ECOWAS Court for redress. In a landmark judgment delivered on October 4, 2018, the ECOWAS court indicted Nigeria and awarded N15m damages in favour of Dasuki for his detention in defiance of the orders of Nigerian courts. According to the judges of the court, “It appears that the sole aim of the re-arrest is to circumvent the grant of bail and by keeping the applicant in custody through executive fiat unsupported by any law or order of court.”


On the allegation that Dasuki was facing a serious charge of the criminal diversion of the sum of $2.1bn for purchase of arms, the ECOWAS Court said that, “For the avoidance of doubt, any persons, who have violated the criminal laws of a state especially the ones impeding the development of the state and destruction of its commonwealth are liable to be tried and if found guilty should face the consequences of their action(s). However, in doing so, states must respect all international obligations with regard to due process and respect for fundamental rights of the suspects. Failure to do so will impute responsibility to the state regarding such violations of rights while leaving intact their right to prosecute and punish offences against their criminal laws.”

It is submitted that the Nigerian Government could not have filed an appeal against the judgment because the ECOWAS Court is a judicial tribunal of first and last resort, without any right of appeal.


However, after the judgment of ECOWAS Court, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court had cause to admit Dasuki to another bail but asked each of his two sureties to deposit N100m with the court. The government did not file an appeal against the ruling but Dasuki did as he was completely dissatisfied with the suffocating conditions attached to his bail. The appeal was decided in Dasuki’s favour as the bail conditions were varied in liberal terms by the Court of Appeal. The Nigerian Government never approached the Supreme Court to challenge any aspect of the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

In the same vein, the government did not file any appeal against any of the orders of the high courts, which had admitted Sowore and Dasuki to bail. Consequently, no motion was ever filed for stay of execution of any of the court orders. Since no notice of appeal or motion for stay of execution was ever filed by the government against the orders of bail for Sowore and Dasuki, the Justice Minister ought to tender a public apology for misleading the Nigerian people.


However, if the Justice Minister can produce any notice of appeal or motion for stay of execution in respect of the two cases, I will publicly apologise to him for misleading the Nigerian people.

From the foregoing, it is undoubtedly clear that the two orders of the Federal High Court admitting Sowore to bail were treated with contempt while the eight orders of the Federal High Court, Federal Capital Territory High Court, ECOWAS Court and the Court of Appeal, which admitted Dasuki to bail were ignored by the Nigerian Government based on erroneous legal advice.


A couple of weeks ago, I had reminded the Justice Minister of the fact that as a military dictator, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari had complied with court orders by releasing 13 political detainees from the illegal custody of the notorious National Security Organisation (now State Security Service) based on the legal advice of his Attorney-General, the late Chief Chike Offodile (SAN).

Even under the dreaded Sani Abacha junta, the law was not totally silent. Hence, when I was detained in 1996 under the State Security (Detention of Persons) Decree No 2 of 1984 at the Mawadachi Prison in Jigawa State, the Federal High Court granted an order permitting my wife to visit me. And upon the service of the order on the government, the then Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, the late Chief Michael Agbamuche (SAN), advised the prison authority to comply with the court order. At about the same time, Mr Agbamuche equally advised the Abacha junta to comply with the order of the Court of Appeal permitting the wife and personal physician of the Late Chief Gani Fawehinmi (SAN) to visit him in the Bauchi Prison. It is on record that the Abacha junta complied with both court orders in line with the advice of the Justice Minister.


Therefore, if the court orders issued in favour of the opponents of military dictators were respected under the defunct military regime, it is unacceptable for a democratically elected government, which operates under the rule of law to ignore the orders of municipal and regional courts for the release of political detainees and criminal suspects from illegal custody.

In as much as the eventual release of Sowore and Dasuki is appreciated, it ought to be pointed out that this is a mere tip of the iceberg. If the Nigerian Government has genuinely decided to embrace the rule of law, it has to comply with all valid and subsisting court orders and respect the human rights of the Nigerian people. As a matter of urgency, the Justice Minister should direct the authorities of the Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Correctional Service, State Security Service, armed forces, anti-graft agencies and other law enforcement agencies to either release or prosecute the thousands of criminal suspects including terror suspects that have been incarcerated for months without trial. The detaining authorities should also be prohibited from parading suspects and subjecting them to physical and mental torture in contravention of the provisions of section 2 of the Anti Torture Act, 2017.

SAN, Femi Falana


Furthermore, the Council of the National Human Rights Commission, which was dissolved in 2015 should be reconstituted by the President on the recommendation of the Justice Minister. In June last year, President Buhari directed the office of the Attorney -General, the Inspector-General of Police and the National Human Rights Commission to carry out the reforms of the Special Anti Robbery Squad of the Police within three months. It is high time the directive was carried out. The Georgewill Judicial commission of Inquiry, which investigated human rights abuses in the armed forces submitted its report in February 2018. The government should issue a white paper on the report forthwith. The Garba Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which investigated the military invasion of Zaria in December 2015 recommended the prosecution of the military officers, who massacred 347 Shiites and buried their bodies in a mass grave. The indicted suspects should be charged with culpable homicide at the Kaduna State High Court without any further delay.

Owing to the refusal of the Nigerian Government to act on these reports by prosecuting those, who bear full responsibility for such eggregious human rights infringements, the office of the Special Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court has concluded arrangements to open preliminary investigation into allegations of crimes against humanity concerning the extrajudicial killings of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, and Indigenous People of Biafra. It is hoped that the government will not allow Nigeria to be exposed to international opprobrium for her unwillingness and inability to prosecute the indicted murder suspects.


#Newsworthy…

FG right to have detained Dasuki, Sowore continuously – Malami.


Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation has said the federal government was right in detaining Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki despite court orders for their release.

Malami said this on Thursday, January 2nd when he appeared on NTA programme.


Sowore, convener of the Revolution Now movement, and Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), were held by the Department of State Services (DSS) long after several court orders were issued for their release.

Speaking during the programme, Malami, who later asked the DSS to release both men, said the government never erred in holding them despite the court orders. He said the government has the right to still detain Sowore and Dasuki until an appeal against the orders is determined by the supreme court.


“If a decision is made, or a judgement is passed, you have an option: one, absolute and unconditional compliance; two, challenge to the order by way of either an appeal against it; or asking that the order be reviewed or appealing and applying for stay of execution,” he said.

“So, in respect of those orders we are not comfortable with as a government, we go back to the court and have them challenged. Until that matter, that your right of challenge, is determined up to the supreme court level, the idea of you being charged with disobedience of court order does not arise.”

Abubakar Malami, AGF


Asked if the government applied for variation of the court orders against Sowore and Dasuki, the minister said there were applications to set aside the orders.

“There were appeals for stay of execution all through. So, until those matters reach the supreme court and the supreme court takes the final decision, relating there, you are still operating within the ambit and context of rule of law” he added.


#Newsworthy…

Why I don’t need to apologise to sowore, dasuki – AGF, Malami replies Falana.


The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said that the release of publisher and convener of Revolution Now protest, Omoyele Sowore, and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, were done out of compassion.

Malami made this known in a statement released by his spokesperson, Dr Umar Gwandu, while reacting to a statement issued on Sunday December 29th by Sowore’s lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN). Falana had demanded that Malami apologizes to Sowore and Dasuki for allegedly offering wrong advice to the Federal Government which resulted in the prolonged detention of Dasuki for four years and Sowore for over four months despite different court orders granting them bail.


Reacting to Falana’s comment demanding an apology to Dasuki and Sowore, Malami in his statement, said he is disappointed at the Senior Lawyer for making such demands when he knows that the release could only have been granted based on valid reasons which includes compassion.

“First, it is beyond doubt that the Federal Government of Nigeria or any prosecuting authority has been vested with constitutional right of appeal in criminal prosecutions. These rights extend to rulings on bail and right to seek to vary terms of bail, among others. Thus, in any circumstance where this right is waived by the prosecution, it can only be for valid reasons, including compassion, after all connected issues have been duly considered.” the statement read


He accused Falana of trying to garner media hype in condemning the Federal government’s kind gesture of releasing Sowore and Dasuki.

“It is further appalling to note that in a bid to garner media hype in condemnation of a valid governmental action taken in good faith and in the interest of the general public, Mr Falana, SAN, resorted to quoting non-existing sections of the constitution by stating that, Mr Malami (SAN), should have apologised to Col. Dasuki (retd.) and Mr Sowore in accordance with Section 32(6) of the 1999 Constitution…It is unfortunate that a senior member of the bar could resort to concoctions and fabrications of non-existing provisions just to score cheap media publicity.

It is important to highlight that the statement issued by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, which Mr Falana was allegedly responding to, did not howsoever state that the duo of Dasuki and Sowore were released further to the constitutional provisions on Prerogative of Mercy.

A lawyer of Mr Falana’s status should thus desist from stretching arguments beyond reasonable limits in order to score cheap political points. It is a common knowledge that Prerogative of Mercy and compassion simpliciter are two different concepts.” the statement read


#Newsworthy…

Falana SAN replies Malami, “Says you can’t release anyone out of pity”.


Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has said Abubakar Malami, minister of justice and attorney-general of the federation, does not possess the constitutional power to release anyone on compassionate grounds.

Falana said this while responding to Malami’s claim that Omoyele Sowore, convener of the RevolutionNow movement, and Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser, were released on compassionate grounds.

“The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds,” Malami had said.


In a letter addressed to Malami, Falana said only the president and state governors are entitled to exercise the prerogative of mercy or release any convicted person on compassionate grounds.

“It is trite law that once a trial court has granted bail to any person standing trial for any offence whatsoever and the bail conditions have been met the detaining authority shall release the person from custody without any further ado,” he said.


“In other words, the refusal to release a defendant who has been admitted to bail by a trial judge is tantamount to contempt of court. Hence, before Sowore’s release, we had filed Forms 48 and 49 for the committal of the Director-General of the State Security Service to prison for contempt of court.”

“The government is not permitted to refuse to comply with the order of bail under the pretext of defending the security of the nation. Even under the defunct military dictatorship, detaining authorities were not authorized to incarcerate any person for “security reasons” in defiance of court orders.

{Left} AGF, Malami & Femi Falana {Right}


“With respect, the federal government has itself to blame for the needless controversy that has trailed the release of the duo. But having belatedly deemed it fit to review your position and advise the federal government in line with the tenets of the rule of law you ought to have apologised to both Sowore and Dasuki.

“That is what is expected of you in accordance with section 32 (6) of the 1999 Constitution. It is not an occasion for grandstanding or an arrogant display of power.”


#Newsworthy…

Sowore, Dasuki released on pity – AGF, Malami.

…revolved around our commitment to the rule of law


The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has explained that the release of a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, and Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, from detention was due to the Federal Government having compassion for the duo. NobleReporters learnt

Dasuki spent more than four years in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) while Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, was held for almost five months.

According to a statement by the AGF spokesman Dr. Umar Gwandu on Friday, who quoted Mr Malami in an interview with the BBC Hausa and the Hausa Service of the Voice of America, the reason for the release of Dasuki and Sowore owes also to the commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders.


He stated that both men had multiple options after the court ruling, either to appeal or review the order.

“The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds.


“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.

the right to appeal the said ruling, the right to ask the same court that issued an order to vary or review the terms of the order as well as the right to request for Stay of Execution of the order pending the hearing and determination of an appeal in that matter.”


Mr Malami denied the claim that his office received any formal communication from any American Senator on the matter, stating that it was not due to any domestic or international pressure on the Federal Government.

He maintained that FG has the right to keep detaining the suspects while challenging the order admitting them to bail up to the apex court.


“Even if we received any communication from them that will never be the basis on the part of the Federal Government to obey or disobey court orders emanating from Nigeria.

“The critical question that you may ask should be whether there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence or not. If there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence which deserved, as a matter of necessity, to be investigated through legal steps then there was no room for thinking of witch-hunting an individual, scoring acrimonies or personal vendetta against anyone.

The AGF stressed that Dasuki and Sowore can now enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases.

“The time has now come for Sambo Dasuki and Omoyele Sowore to also enjoy bail based on the merit of their individual cases. They were charged based on their individual cases, taken to court, granted bail and now have been released. All the individuals involved were treated fairly and justly; they were taken to court, enjoyed the court’s favourable discretion and they were all released,” he said.


#Newsworthy…

Why IMN leader El-Zakzaky and wife are not released – Malami

…as far as the law is concerned


Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (SAN), has said the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, was not released along with journalist, Omoyele Sowore, and a former National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, because the Federal Government cannot interfere in a case already being prosecuted by a state government.

The AGF’s spokesperson, Dr Umar Gwandu, said his principal revealed this during interviews with the Hausa services of the British Broadcasting Corporation and the Voice of America.


He said, “El-Zakzaky and his wife are being prosecuted by the Kaduna State Government on charges of murder.

“The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience to court orders and compassionate grounds.

“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.”

Orders to free El-Zakzaky had been ignored by the Kaduna State Government.


#Newsworthy…