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Court fines FG N200,000 for delay tactics in Sowore’s trial

Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja

Feb. 13, 2020

Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka (right), and convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, during the resumption of the latter’s trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja…yesterday.
Soyinka, Sani, others solidarise with activist
The Federal High Court, Abuja, yesterday, ordered the Federal Government – the prosecution in the treasonable felony charge against the convener of #RevolutionNow protest and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawole Bakare, to pay the sum of N200,000 as fine for forcing the court to adjourn.Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu handed down the charge after the court was forced to adjourn momentarily in wait of the prosecution counsel, Aminu Halilu.
Meanwhile the resumption of Sowore’s trial yesterday also came with some drama as he was accompanied to court by some notable Nigerians and human right activists. Among those who were in court in solidarity with the activist include Professor Wole Soyinka; former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Professor Chidi Odinkalu; Senator Shehu Sani and Deji Adeyanju.
At the resumed hearing, the defence counsel, Adeyinka Olumide-Fusika, told the court that the prosecution lawyer, Halilu, had just served them with an amended charge in court and would need time to go through it. In the amended charge filed by the prosecution, the charges against Sowore and his co-defendant were reduced from seven to two-count charge. But worried about the development, the trial judge in her ruling, handed down the N200,000 fine against the prosecution.
The fine was for the fact that the prosecution had exhausted the number of adjournments allowed for parties.The court further held that the money must be paid before the next adjourned date, which is today, for continuation of trial. Sowore’s arrest in 2019, detention, release and dramatic re-arrest had generated so much controversy until recently when his prosecution for treasonable felony resumed proper.
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