Court orders remand of Nigerian activist, Sowore, 4 others

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The court sitting in Wuse Zone 2 area in Abuja ordered the remand of the five men facing a three count charge of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly and inciting public disturbance following a protest organized during the new year crossover on the 31st of December, 2020.

Chief Magistrate Mabel Segun Bello, while ruling on an oral bail application of the defendants ordered that the defendants be allowed access to medical attention and a lawyer of their choice.

on arrival in court, security personnel escorted the defendants into the court for the arraignment which is for fresh charges against Mr. Sowore.

After the charges were read against the former presidential candidate, he pleaded not guilty while the defendant’s lawyer applied for the bail with the plea taken. However, the application was opposed by the prosecutor on the grounds that the investigation is still ongoing.

Ruling on the bail application, the magistrate insisted that the defendants must file a formal bail application.

The magistrate went further to order that they be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja.

James Idachaba, the prosecutor speaking said “We have a case which is in line with the constitutional provisions with charges levelled against them to the extent of someone calling for a change of government”.

The lawyer of the defendant, Marshall Abubakar, argued that the police had no case against his client.

Sowore and four other defendants were arrested in the early hours of January 1st, 2021 at Gudu District in Abuja for allegedly inciting the public against the Federal Government at an unlawful assembly.

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“They pounced on me, and broke my nose” – Sowore

On Monday 4th of January, 2021, Mr Sowore spoke with journalists in the court narrating the ordeal he faced with other activists after their arrest by the police in Abuja.

The publisher  said in an interview with PREMIUM TIMES that the encounter with the police convinced him that brutality of citizens by security operatives has not ended.

Sowore said “the policemen that were brought to the place of the protest were beating people and I came down from my car where I was covering the protest to stop them from beating people”.

“They pounced on me, and broke my nose. It was carried out by a mobile police officer who loaded about seven vehicles with mobile police officers well armed”. He said

He narrated that when they took them to notorious SARS Abattoir, He discovered that the Nigerian government has not ended SARS.

“They mobilized SARS to beat us up and force us into detention,” Mr Sowore said.

Sowore and the four other arrested persons spent four nights in detention and were eventually arraigned on Monday before a Magistrate Court in Wuse Zone 2, Abuja.

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