The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malam has ordered the Nigeria Police, to hands off the case involving the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoleye Sowore.
Sowore, who is also the publisher of the online news portal, Sahara Reporters, was arrested on new year’s eve for leading a protest against bad governance in the country.
Sowore and four other activists, Juwon Sanyaolu, Peter Williams, Damilare Adenola and Emmanuel Bulus were subsequently arraigned before an Abuja Chief Magistrate Court sitting at Wuse Zone 2, who had other that they remained in custody.
Reports however say, Mr Malami had earlier directed the police to handover the case-file to the Director of Public Prosecution, DPP, at the Federal Ministry of Justice.
Counsel to the Defendants, Mr. Abubakar Marshal, who confirmed the development to newsmen on Friday, said the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, DIG, had on the order of the AGF, retrieved the case-file from the FCT Police Command.
Marshal, who alleged that there was confusion among the prosecuting team, said:
“This morning, we reached out to the authorities to bring the defendants to court to listen to the terms and conditions upon which bail would be considered but we were informed and shown copies of documents from the office of the DIG requesting for the case file of Omoyele Sowore from the office of the Commissioner of police FCT Abuja.
“Now we were told reliably that the office of the Commissioner of Police transfered the case-file to the office of the DIG yesterday.
“In service, the moment you request for the case-file of a suspect and the case-file was officially transferred to you, it is assumed that you have taken over responsibility of that particular matter.
“When I spoke to the CP this morning and the prosecutors and the IPO, they did informed me that the FCIID has taken over the matter officially. So on that basis, they said they don’t have a vehicle to convey Sowore and the other Defendants to court.
“We took our time to reach out to the authorities of the FCIID. We asked them that since they have taken over this case-file, how would the Defendants be brought to court to listen to their bail application and they said it is not in their place and they are not interested in Sowore’s case because of the political nature of that matter.
“This morning, they also brought before the court, another signal from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation mandating the office of the DPP to take over the case-file from the police.
“This means that the DPP are now responsible for prosecuting this particular case.
“The court has also requested that since the ruling is for the Defendant, it is expedient that they are brought to court to listen to the order”, he added.
It will be recalled that Sowore was previously detained for about five months after he was arrested in 2019 for convening the #RevolutionNow protest.
He was later charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja where he is currently answering to an amended two-count treasonable felony ealongside his co-Defendant, Olawole Bakare.