The Court of Appeal in Abuja has granted Omoyele Sowore’s application to file notice of appeal against the ruling of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which confined the pro-democracy activist to Abuja.
A three-member panel of the court headed by Moore Adumei gave Mr Sowore, an activist and publisher of Sahara Reporters, the nod to file his notice of appeal within 14 days.
This followed an application by Mr Sowore’s lawyer, Marshal Abubakar, for an extension of time to file his client’s notice of appeal.
The order granted by the court regularised Mr Sowore’s appeal deeming it to have been duly filed, and the next stage is the hearing of the case on merit by the appellate court.
Mr Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, are being prosecuted on treasonable felony charges for calling for a revolution through a protest tagged ‘Revolution Now’ in August 2019.
They both pleaded not guilty.
Contested bail conditions
Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial judge at the Federal High Court in Abuja, had granted bail to Mr Sowore and Mr Bakare in the sum of N100 million and N50 million respectively.
Mrs Ojukwu said Mr Sowore should produce two sureties in like sum.
Of the N100 million bail sum, N50 million was to be deposited with the court while the balance was to be put in place should Mr Sowore jump bail.
The court said Mr Sowore’s sureties must deposit tax clearance certificates for three years, 2016 to 2018, and documents of landed properties in Abuja.
The sureties were also to deposit affidavit of means for their assets.
The court ruled that when released after meeting his bail conditions, Mr Sowore should remain in Abuja till the case is determined while his co-accused, Mr Bakare, should not leave his place of residence in Osogbo except for the trial.
The court also said Mr Bakare should present one surety and a bail bond of N50 million.
But Mr Sowore, had in his reaction, described the conditions given by the court as stringent and filed for a variation of the bail conditions.
On October 21, 2019, Mrs Ojukwu set aside one of the bail conditions requesting a N50 million security deposit by one of the sureties in the bank account of the court.
Still dissatisfied, Mr Sowore approached the Court of Appeal, seeking to set aside the conditions that restricted him from addressing public gatherings and leaving the FCT.
Earlier on Tuesday, Mr Sowore’s counsel, Marshal Abubakar, moved his client’s application seeking the regularisation of his appeal.
The application filed on November 17, 2020, was not opposed by Kehinde Fagbemi, the State Counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Moore Adumei headed the panel which had Adebukola Banjoko and Usman Musale who were sworn inon Monday as Justices of the Court of Appeal, as members.
Mr Sowore and his ‘Buhari Must Go’ campaigners were on the court premises chanting the slogan on Tuesday.
The Publisher, who spoke briefly after the court proceedings, lamented that he had been “confined” in Abuja for over two years, while “people who stole billions of naira are left to travel all over the world.”
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...