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FG Withdraws Treason Case Against Sowore, Bakare After 5years

The Federal Government of Nigeria has officially declared its intention to discontinue the long-standing treasonable felony case against Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters. The decision was communicated through a document dated February 15, 2024, presented by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, to the Federal High Court of Nigeria in Abuja.

The document also revealed the government’s decision to drop charges against Sowore’s co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, popularly known as Mandate. The Attorney General cited the powers vested in him under Section 174(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, Section 107(1) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2015, and other relevant legal provisions as the basis for the discontinuation.

The trial judge, Justice Emeka Nwite of the Federal High Court in Abuja, had previously expressed dissatisfaction with the prosecution team’s performance and threatened to strike out the case. The judge urged the government’s legal representatives to enhance their presentation after difficulties in articulating their arguments during court sessions in November 2023 and on February 14, 2024.

Omoyele Sowore, known for his pro-democracy activism, was arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS) on August 3, 2019, just two days before the scheduled #RevolutionNow protest, which he had organized for August 5, 2019. His arrest led to multiple court appearances and public outcry, ultimately resulting in his release under sustained pressure.

Sowore, represented in court by the Human rights activist Femi Falana, SAN, expressed his intention to sue the Federal Government and the Department of State Services for ₦100 billion. In an exclusive telephone interview, he outlined his lawsuit, seeking compensation for the perceived injustices, including the alleged assassination of his younger brother, Olajide Sowore, in 2021.

Sowore affirmed his determination to pursue legal action both in Nigeria and the Department of State Services , emphasizing that the government’s actions had caused significant mental, financial, and emotional trauma to him, his family, and his businesses during the five-year ordeal.

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