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JUST IN: Nigerian govt re-arraigns Sowore, Bakare

The federal government on Thursday re-arraigned Sahara Reporters Publisher, Omoyele Sowore, and co-accused, Olawale Bakare

 

They were arraigned before Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on a two-count charge bordering on treasonable felony.

The prosecution lawyer, who is a chief state council from the ministry of justice, had informed the court on Wednesday, that the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) has taken over the prosecution of the case and has filed an amended charge.

At the commencement of trial on Thursday, the prosecution lawyer, Aminu Alilu, applied that the previous seven-count charge which was filed in September 2019, be substituted with the amended charge.

At the commencement of trial on Thursday, the prosecution lawyer, Aminu Alilu, applied that the previous seven-count charge which was filed in September 2019, be substituted with the amended charge.

Taking their pleas upon re-arraignment, Messrs Sowore and Bakare pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The duo were arrested on August 3 by the State Security Services (SSS) for planning a protest popularised with the hashtag #RevolutionNow.

But in the new charge, the offences which bordered on fraud, cyber-stalking and insulting the president, which were in the previous seven-count charge, were removed.

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The SSS on December 6 rearrested Mr Sowore at the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja a day after he was released from their custody. Officials of the agency forced their way into the courtroom and arrested him.

The publisher and Mr Bakare had been released the night before on the orders of Justice Ojukwu after spending 124 days in SSS custody.

Mr Sowore was later released on December 24, 2019.

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