The scheduled ruling on the bail application filed by the publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, and four others at the Magistrates’ Court, Wuse Zone 2, Abuja was on Friday, January 8 stalled by the failure of the prosecution to produce them before Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello.
The court had on January 6, 2021, scheduled ruling for Friday after entertaining arguments on the bail application filed by Sowore and others.
Sowore, Juwon Sanyaolu, Peter Williams, Damilare Adenola and Emmanuel Bulus were arraigned before the court on Monday on a three-count charge filed by the police.
They were arrested on the New Year’s Eve for their alleged involvement in a protest against bad governance in the country.
The police claimed that the defendants were arrested with placards that called for a violent revolution against President, Muhammadu Buhari.
But on Wednesday, after taking arguments on the defendants’ bail application, Magistrate Segun-Bello scheduled the ruling for Friday, at 11am.
By 11am on Friday, Sowore’s lawyer, Marshal Abubakar, and associates of the defendants were in court, but the prosecuting lawyer was absent, prompting the court to reschedule proceedings for 1pm.
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).
No date was, however, fixed for further proceedings.
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.”