Treason: Judge frowns at Sowore’s, Bakare’s conduct

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Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of Federal in Abuja on Thursday expressed displeasure at conduct of politician and publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, and his associate, Olawale Bakare.

Sowore and Bakare are facing trial before for alleged treasonable felony filed by Office of Attorney of the Federation (OAGF) for their involvement in the #RevolutionNow protest.

At mention of case around 1 p.m, both defendants were absent, but their lawyer, Marshal Abubakar, told that they were on their way.

Abubakar also told the court that his office wrote a letter the court’s Deputy Chief Registrar for an adjournment of further proceedings in the case till a date after the Easter vacation.

He said a copy of the letter sent the AGF.

lord, is a letter dated and filed on January 29 and addressed the Deputy Chief Registrar of the court.

“As your lordship is aware, on January 25, this matter billed to go on trial and we were ready and in court. However, owing to the demise of Justice Watila of Abeokuta Division, the court could not proceed.

hoped that if the proceeding had gone on, we would have informed your lordship that today’s date would not be convenient for the defence,” Abubakar said.

But prosecution lawyer Aminu Alilu averred that was “very shocking and alarming that this honourable court, for the second time, be waiting for these eminent defendants”.

Alilu recalled that the court had once awarded a N200,000 fine against the government for being tardy.

He added: “, the table has turned. Section 266 of ACJA (Administration of Criminal Justice Act) provides that a defendant shall be present in court during the whole of the trial, except…

“It is an affront to this honourable court for them to stay away and still say they are on their way.”

The lawyer said the defendants provided no reason for their absence, stressing that his witness, was in court, came from outside the court’s jurisdiction.

He urged the court to revoke the bail granted the defendants and invite their sureties to show cause they not forfeit the bail bond they signed.

Alilu also asked the court to award a cost against Sowore and Bakare for their “misconduct”.

Before the judge could rule, Sowore strolled into the courtroom.

Ruling, Justice Ojukwu said she was displeased with the defence’s posture towards the proceedings.

The judge said she would not condone any action that could delay proceedings in the trial.

She initially awarded N100,000 cost against Bakare, was not in court, but added N50,000 when Alilu pointed out, among others, that Bakare’s absence without any cogent reason was deliberate disrespect to the court.

Justice Ojukwu adjourned till April 20 for continuation of trial.

The Nation