February 15, 2024

FG discontinues AAC presidential candidate, Sowore’s case

FG discontinues AAC presidential candidate, Sowore’s case

The Federal Government has discontinued the trial of the human rights activist and 2023 presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore.

According to a document issued by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, the case against Sowore’s co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, (also known as Mandate) was also discontinued.

The development was communicated to the Federal High Court in Abuja via a notice of discontinuance, dated February 15, 2024.

It read, “By virtue of the power conferred on me under Section 174 (1) (c} of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, Section 107 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015 and all other powers enabling me in that behalf, I Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, SAN intend to discontinue charge No: FHC/ABJ/CR/235/2019″.

Reacting to the FG’s decision, Sowore, via his X account, said he was vindicated but the struggle for justice and liberty would continue.

He wrote, “Five years ago, the Federal Government of Nigeria commenced a fruitlessly malicious, tendencious and idiosyncratic treason trial (Persecution) against me and several other revolutionary comrades across Nigeria.

“We stood our ground and began a historic journey to liberate our country, despite threats, assassination of family members, state-sponsored violence and targeted attacks by security forces, we promised never to back down. 

“Today, we have been vindicated on one front, the Nigerian government has terminated its own case against me, but we will not terminate our struggle for justice and liberty of our compatriots. We warned the @MBuhari regime and those who followed his ruinous path that they will face ultimate disgrace before long. We salute our revolutionary comrades. #RevolutionNow.”

Sowore was being legally represented in court by the law firm of pro-democracy and human rights activist, Femi Falana, SAN.

The judge handed down the warning on Wednesday at the resumed hearing of the case.

The case which was slated for trial could not go on as the 1st defendant could not take his plea following the announcement of the new prosecution lawyer, who said that she would be taking over the case on the ground that the lawyer handling the case initially had been transferred out of the Ministry of Justice.

She subsequently requested an adjournment to enable her to study and be abreast of the case.

he application was objected to by the defence counsel, Marshal Abubakar, on the ground that the prosecution was playing to the gallery to waste the time of the court.

Sowore and Bakare were arraigned before the Federal High Court Abuja in 2019,  following a protest rally he staged in Abuja tagged “Revolution Now.”

Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had earlier threatened to strike out the treason charge filed against him if the Nigerian government was not ready to go on with the case five years later.

Sowore was arrested by operatives of the Department of States Services at midnight on August 3, 2019, two days before a planned #RevolutionNow protest tagged “Days of Rage,” scheduled for August 5, 2019.

Following his arrest, he was arraigned by the DSS on several occasions and was later released following sustained pressure.