Nigeria: Treason - DSS Arraigns Sowore Today

Omoyele Sowore
24 September 2019

The Directorate of State Services (DSS) will today arraign the Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore before an Abuja division of the Federal High Court.

DSS had filed a seven count charge bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering against Sowore, who was the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress (AAC) in the February 23 presidential election.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, had in his ruling on exparte motion filed by the secret service ordered Sowore's detention for a period of 45 days to enable the agency conclude its investigation of alleged treason and terrorism against the defendant, who is also publisher of SaharaReporters online news medium.

However, with barely 24 hours to the expiration of the detention order, the federal government last Friday formally filed charges against Sowore.

Also charged along the convener, #RevolutionNow protest in the seven count charge is one Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.

The charge which was signed on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), by a Chief State Counsel, Aminu Alilu, in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Justice, specifically accused Sowore and his co-defendant of conspiracy to commit treasonable felony in breach of section 516 of the Criminal Code Act by allegedly staging "a revolution campaign on September 5, 2019.

According to the charge, the protest was aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

The prosecution also accused them of committing the actual offence of treasonable felony in breach of section, 4(1)(c) of the Criminal Code Act, by using the platform of Coalition for Revolution, in August 2019 in Abuja, Lagos and other parts of Nigeria, to stage the #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.

Sowore was further accused of cybercrime offences in violation of section 24(1)(b) of the Cybercrimes (Prohibition, Prevention) Act, by "knowingly" sending "messages by means of press interview granted on Arise Television network which you knew to be false for the purpose of causing insult, enmity, hatred and ill-will on the person of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria."

The DSS also accused Sowore of money laundering offences in breach of section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011.

Sowore however has continued to challenge his detention as illegal and a breach of his fundamental human rights.

Sowore was arrested in the early hours of Saturday August 3, in a hotel in Lagos by men of the DSS on account of the #RevolutionNow protest which he had spearheaded.

He was then moved to Abuja the following day and kept in custody of the DSS where he has been till date following an order of court.

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