LawPolitics

FG Quits Treason Case Against Sowore

Sowore

The Federal Government has declared its intention to discontinue the treasonable felony case instituted against the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.

The development was made known in a document by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi.

The document dated February 15, 2024, was addressed to the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja Division.

In the document, the government disclosed its intention to also discontinue the case against Sowore’s co-defendant, Olawale Bakare aka Mandate.

The document read, “Between Federal Republic of Nigeria – (complainant) and Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare aka Mandate (defendants).

“Notice of discontinuance. By virtue of the power conferred on me under Section 174 (1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended, Section 107 (1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Aet 2015 and all other powers enabling me on that behalf, I, Lateef Olasunkanmi Fagbemi, SAN intend to discontinue Charge No FHC/ABI/CR/235/2019.

“Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.”

Meanwhile, the trial judge, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had on Wednesday, February 14, threatened to strike out the over four-year-long treasonable felony case.

The judge also urged the Federal Government’s prosecution team to get its acts together following the inability of the FG’s counsel to make clear their arguments in court on Wednesday and in November 2023.

Sowore was arrested by DSS operatives at midnight on August 3, 2019, two days before a planned #RevolutionNow protest tagged “Days of Rage,” convened by the pro-democracy activist and slated for August 5, 2019.

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

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

Meanwhile, Sowore has vowed to sue the Federal Government and the Department of State Services to the tune of ₦100 billion, for the cost of time and resources, mental and financial trauma caused his person, businesses, wife and children, and extended family, and the alleged assassination of his younger brother, Olajide Sowore in 2021.

He made the development known on Thursday in an exclusive telephone interview with our correspondent.

The pro-democracy activist and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress noted that he would sue the FG both in Nigeria and the United States for all the trauma and pains that were inflicted on him while he was detained and later confined within Nigeria for about five years.

Sowore said, “I’m not supposed to be congratulated because the Federal Government had now decided to discontinue the treasonable felony case against me. I didn’t commit any crime, they only decided to waste my time and the resources of the country.

“But we’re not giving up. I will sue the Federal Government of Nigeria and the DSS for ₦1billion as compensation for the cost of time and resources, mental and financial trauma that they caused my person, my businesses, my wife and children, and my extended family, and also for the assassination of my brother, Olajide Sowore during this five-year period that I was abducted, detained, and now confined to Nigeria while they seized my passport.”