The Federal High Court in Abuja, on Monday, ordered that the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr. Omoyele Sowore should be remanded in custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, till Friday when it will hear his bail application.
Trial Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu remanded Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Adebayo Bakare (aka Mandate), shortly after they pleaded not guilty to a seven-count charge the Federal Government preferred against them.
Though the court initially asked the defendants to choose between Kuje and Suleja prisons, Sowore’s lawyer, Mr. Olumide Fusika, SAN, prayed the court to allow them to remain in the custody of the DSS till the next adjourned date.
Meanwhile, immediately he was being ushered out of the courtroom, Sowore made a move to address the press, but was roughly dragged away by DSS operatives.
He, however, kept chanting and urging Nigerians to rise against bad governance, as he was being whisked away by security agents amid protest from some of his supporters that attended the proceeding.
Meanwhile, Sowore had after he mounted the dock, declined to enter their plea to the charge, challenging the legal propriety of his arraignment when the DSS refused to obey an order the court made for his immediate release from detention.
Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the last general election and publisher of an online media platform, Sahara Reporters, has been in detention since August 2 when he was arrested for calling for a nationwide protest against perceived maladministration by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.
Omoyele Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow Movement, says while arrested Boko Haram commanders in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) are allowed to make calls, he has been denied access to telephone.
According to SaharaReporters, Sowore said this on Monday at the federal high court in Abuja where he is currently being arraigned for “conspiracy to commit treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari”.
The activist said he was yet to know what charge was brought against him as he had not spoken with his lawyers.
“I am not allowed to see sunshine. I’ve not been outside except today. I am happy people are staying strong,” he said.
“I have no doubt this will come to an end in favour of the Nigerian people. Whether you like it or not, the revolution will happen. It is only a matter time. They gave me no access to telephone. No TV. No newspapers.
“What is interesting is that Boko Haram commanders who are engaged in high level terrorism have access to telephone, TV and even cable in their cells. So you wonder which one is better: a freedom fighter or a terrorist.”
He also said he has a bad shoulder following the way he was rough handled when arrested.
Sowore, who was presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the 2019 elections, was arrested in Lagos on August 3 ahead of a planned nationwide #RevolutionNow protest.
The protest, the government said, was aimed at removing the president during his term of office otherwise than by constitutional means.
The court had earlier granted the DSS request to keep Sowore for 45 days but he was later granted bail.
The agency refused to release him despite fulfilling his bail condition.