Saturday 5 October 2019

'His bail conditions can’t be met’ — Sowore’s lawyer raises the alarm

Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow Movement, is still in

custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) because his bail conditions have not been met.

The federal high court in Abuja on Friday granted a N100 million bail to Sowore with two sureties who must be resident in Abuja and have landed properties within the federal capital territory.

Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial judge, held that the sureties must deposit original documents of those properties in the court registry. The judge also ordered that one of the sureties must deposit N50 million with the court pending the determination of the case.

While barring Sowore from travelling outside Abuja, she ordered him to deposit his passport with the court.

The federal government had charged him with treasonable felony, “insulting” President Muhammadu Buhari and money laundering.

Speaking with TheCable on Saturday, Inibehe Effiong, a lawyer in Sowore’s legal team, described the bail conditions as “stringent and impossible to meet”. “Those conditions are not conditions that can be fulfilled. We have made contacts and explored all channels, clearly, nobody is willing to be a surety for that amount. That amount of money is not available, it is not realistic under the current economic situation,” he said.

Effiong said the defence team would go back to the judge to demand a review of the bail conditions. “We are going back to the trial court next week to seek a variation of the bail conditions,” he said. “We understand bail is at the discretion of the court but the Administration of Criminal Justice Act allows us to apply for a variation where the conditions are such that the defendants cannot meet.” Olawale Bakare, Sowore’s co-defendant, was given a N50m bail bond with one surety in like sum.

Just like Sowore, his surety must be resident in Abuja and submit original documents of landed assets.

All sureties would also be required to submit evidence of tax clearance for 2016, 2017, 2018.

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