Sowore, Bakare meet bail conditions

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*Sowore, Bakare

Detained publisher of Sahara Reporters and convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore, and his co-detainee, Mr. Olawale Bakare, have met their bail conditions set by Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.

Both were charged with treasonable felony preferred against them by the federal government.

Counsel for the defendants, Mr. Femi Falana who confirmed the development at the Federal High Court in Abuja said the accused would be freed later today (Wednesday).

He said the Department of State Services (DSS) in whose custody the defendants were detained and from where they were produced in court today had denied the lawyers access to the defendants.

“I have already explained to the learned prosecuting counsel that we are encumbered by the refusal of the State Security Service to allow us to prepare for the defence of the defendants.

“I had already asked my learned counsel for the prosecution, that we are confident that the defendants will be freed today (Wednesday) from the custody of the SSS having met the bail conditions imposed on them by this honourable court.

“Once they are liberated from the custody of the SSS, we will be in a position to take full instruction from them,” he said.

The trial was adjourned till December 5 and 6, 2019.

It would be recalled that Justice Ojukwu reviewed the bail conditions granted to the defendants.

The review was sequel to an application by Sowore praying the court to vary his bail conditions on accounts of his inability to meet the conditions described as ‘stringent’ by his lawyers.

Justice Ojukwu had on October 4 admitted Sowore to bail in the sum of M100 million with two sureties in like sum.

One of the sureties, according to the judge, must deposit the sum of N50 million cash as security for the bail.

The two sureties must be resident in Abuja and show evidence of tax payment for three years from 2014 to 2016.

Also admitted to bail in the sum of N50 million on October 4 was Bakare.

Bakare in addition was required to produce one surety in the sum of N50 million and also show evidence of tax payment in the last three years.

Other conditions to the bail were that the defendants must not travel without the permission of the court.

Sowore was in addition ordered not to participate in any form of protest pending the determination of the suit.

Delivering ruling in the application, the court granted Sowore’s request and consequently set aside the order directing one of the sureties to make a security deposit of N50 million.

It also slashed Bakare’s bail condition from N50 million to N20 million.

However, Justice Ojukwu retained all the previous conditions attached to the bail stressing that the order restraining Sowore from participating in rallies and protests was not an infringement of his fundamental rights.

She also barred Sowore from traveling out of Abuja and the second defendant out of Osogbo, during the pendency of the trial.

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