At the resumed trial of the treasonable felony charges against the publisher ofableon Wednesday in Abuja, Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, went tough against the Federal Government, accusing it of causing the adjustment of the trial on frivolous grounds.
The judge also awarded the sum of N200,000 as cost against the Federal Government in favour of the defence, warning that the case would now continue on Thursday (tomorrow).
According to Justice Ojukwu, the prosecution’s request for the adjournment was frivolous and uncalled for, while also condemning the late filing of amended charges and service of same on the defence in the open court on Wednesday.
The judge also berated the prosecution for failing to serve all the necessary documents on the defence as ordered by the court over seven weeks ago.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Kayode Alilu, from the office of the Attorney General of the Federation, had earlier explained to the court that the amendment of the charges followed the taking over of the case from the Department of State Services in December, praying the court for an adjournment to effect the service on the defence.
However, the defence lawyer, Mr. Olayinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), argued that the prosecution were not prepared for trial, urging the court to strike out the charges.
According to him, the prosecution’s request for an adjournment was frivolous and an indication of their lack of diligence in the prosecution of the case.
Meanwhile, the trial attracted notable names in the nation’s human rights society, including Professor Wole Soyinka, Senator Shehu Sani, a former Chairman of National Human Rights Commission, Professor Chidi Odinkalu and Deji Adeyanju.
They were in court to show solidarity with Sowore, the convener of #RevolutionNow, as his trial continues before Justice Ifeoma Chukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja.
It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had in August 2019 arrested Sowore and his codefendant, Olawale Bakare, for calling for a mass protest against perceived mis-governance by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The duo were charged for treasonable felony for allegedly planning to topple the administration of the President Buhari, among other counts including abusing the President.