Sowore arraigned in Abuja court, charged with attempt to overthrow Buhari •Remanded with co-defendant

Posted by News Express | 30 September 2019 | 1,269 times

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•Sowore in court. PHOTO: NAN.

The Department of State Services (DSS) has brought Omoyele Sowore, the African Action Congress’ (AAC) Presidential candidate in the 2019 election to a Federal High Court in Abuja.

Sowore who has been held in detention by the DSS is the convener of the RevolutionNow Movement.

He is being accused of plans to illegally and unconstitutionally overthrow the democratically elected government of President Muhammadu Buhari through RevolutionNow protest.

The operatives of the DSS sneaked the Publisher of Sahara Reporters through the backdoor into the courtroom.

Sowore appeared full of energy and was smiling all through as he exchanged pleasantries with lawyers.

In the end, Sowore, and his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare have been remanded in the custody of DSS pending the hearing of their bail application.

Counsel to Sowore and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr Femi Falana, was absent in court but Mr Olumide A. represented Mr Falani while Mr Hassan Liman is the prosecutor on behalf of the Federal Government.

The trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu in her ruling on Monday read out the charges to Mr Sowore who is the defendant.

She said the first charge is ‘conspiracy to commit a treasonable felony’.

“That you, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, under the name #RevolutionNow, did conspire amongst yourself to carry out revolution protests aimed at removing the President.”

Both defendants say they understand the charge as far as the English language goes. They pleaded not guilty.

“That you, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, under the name #RevolutionNow, did conspire amongst yourself to carry out revolution protests aimed at removing the President.”

Charges are being read to the defendants. The first charge is ‘conspiracy to commit a treasonable felony’.

The second charge is on treasonable felony. ‘That you, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, and others at large under the coalition for revolution staged a revolution campaign on 5th day of August aimed at removing the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces during his tenure in office.

Sowore said he was arrested on August 5th and so does not understand the charge. His co-defendant, Bakare, also says he does not understand the charge.

Both defendants say they are pleading not guilty based on the advice of their lawyer.

Cyberstalking is the third charge. “That you, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, and others at large did commit offence by sending a message by means of press interview to Arise TV which you knew will cause insult and hatred towards the President.”

The next count is the transfer of funds. “That you Omoyele Sowore on April 2019 at Lagos and Abuja commit an offence by transferring the sum of $19,975 from your UBA account credited by City Bank, USA into a Sahara Bank Account with the aim of concealing the origin of the funds.”

He, however, said since his counsel has advised him to enter a plea, it is a not guilty plea.

Sowore said he is confused that he has no UBA account and does not understand how one can transfer money from City Bank through UBA to another bank.

Sowore was also accused of transferring $20,475 dollars from his UBA account credited by Sahara Reporters Media Group in New York with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the funds. He also entered the same “not guilty” plea.

The sixth count is the transfer of funds contrary to the Money Laundering Act”.

It read, “That you Omoyele Sowore on the 27th of June did commit an offence by transferring the sum of $16,967 credited by Sahara Media Group USA with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the funds”.

Count 7 is the transfer of funds. “That you Omoyele Sowore on 16th July at Lagos and Abuja committed an offence by transferring the sum of $16,975 from your account in USA with the aim of concealing the illicit origin of the funds. He pleaded not guilty”.

However, Justice Ojokwu has fixed Thursday for hearing of their application.

•Based on NAN and Channels TV reports.


Source: News Express

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