The bail application ruling for Omoleye Sowore and four others stalled on Friday, due to the failure of the prosecution Counsel to produce them before Magistrate Mabel Segun Bello.
The Magistrates’ Court, sitting in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja, had on January 6th, 2021, scheduled ruling on the bail application for Friday, having entertained arguments for bail filed by Sowere and four others.
Recall that Sowore, who is the publisher of SaharaReporters, Juwon Sanyaolu, Peter Williams, Damilare Adenola and Emmanuel Bulus, were arraigned before the court on January 4, 2021, on a three-count charge filed by the police.
The police claimed that the defendants were arrested on New Year’s Eve with placards, calling for a violent revolution against the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
However, after taking arguments on the defendants’ bail application on Wednesday, Magistrate Segun-Bello scheduled the ruling for Friday, at 11am.
As at 11am on Friday, Sowore’s lawyer, Marshal Abubakar, and associates of the defendants were in court, but the prosecuting lawyer was absent. This prompted the court to reschedule proceedings for 1pm.
A report published by the Punch Newspaper indicates that by 1pm, when the prosecuting lawyer was still yet to arrive in court, an official of the court invited the defence lawyer into the office of the magistrate.
While emerging from the office of the magistrate, Abubakar told journalists that he learnt the police claimed to have handed the case file to a Deputy Inspector General of Police for further prosecution.
The lawyer said the DIG, who was called to produce the defendants, claimed to have handed the case file to the Director of Public Prosecution on the instruction of the Attorney General of the Federation, Malami Abubakar (SAN).
Sowore’s lawyer, Abubakar, said, “At the moment, Mr Omoyele Sowore and the other four defendants are still being held at the Force CID, Area 10, Garki, Abuja, as we speak. There are serious allegations that there are attempts to undermine the judicial process. The reason is this: the ruling on the bail application was adjourned to today, definite.
“This morning (Friday) while we were in court, we made an attempt to ask that Mr Omoyele Sowore be brought to court for him to listen or to hear the conditions upon which his bail would be considered, probably, in his favour or in whatever manner the judge decides it. But this morning, we were informed and we were shown documents, signals first from the office of the DIG requesting the case file of Mr Omoyele Sowore from the office of the Commissioner of Police, FCT, Abuja.”
No date was, however, fixed for further proceedings.