Crossover Protest: Court Grants Sowore N20m Bail

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By Alex Enumah

Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello of a Wuse Zone 2 Magistrate’s Court, Abuja, on Monday admitted Publisher of SaharaReporters and convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, to bail in the sum of N20 million.

Sowore and four others were arrested on New Year’s eve over their involvement in a protest over ban on crossover night activities.

The four others, which include Peter Williams, Sanyaolu Juwon, Emmanuel Bulus and Damilare Adenola were then arraigned on January 4, 2021 on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful assembly and incitement.

Following their plea of not guilty, Magistrate Segun-Bello ordered that they be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre, pending the hearing and determination of their bail applications.

However, the defendants were last Tuesday, transferred to the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID) after Sowore reported that they were denied access to healthcare, food and water.

The counsel to the defendants, Mr Marshal Abubakar, arguing bail applications had asked the court to release his clients “on self recognizance or in the alternative, grant bail in the most liberal terms”.

After arguments were taken, Magistrate Segun-Bello adjourned till last Friday for ruling, but had to adjourn to Monday due to the failure of the police to produce the defendants in court.

Delivering ruling on Monday, the magistrate, while holding that the defendants were entitled to bail, said the defendants did not resist arrest while being apprehended.

She accordingly admitted the second, third, fourth and fifth defendants to bail in liberal terms with a bond of one million each.

In addition, she ordered them to produce one surety in like sum who “must be resident in Abuja with an identifiable workplace and residential address”.

“The first defendant however Omoyele Sowore is also admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million and two sureties in like sum,” the magistrate ordered.

She held that one of the sureties must be a civil servant not below grade level 12 in the federal civil service.

She further ordered that Sowore must report physically to the Chief Registrar of the FCT High Court or any other person designated by the Chief Registrar every Monday and Friday mornings until the end of the case.

All defendants must not travel outside Abuja metropolis or outside the country pending the determination of the case.