Supporters went into frenzy Friday afternoon as the Federal High Court in Abuja granted bail to the convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial judge, gave the order on Friday while ruling on the bail application filed by the two defendants. After listening to arguments from the prosecutor and the defendants’ counsel, Justice Ojukwu adjourned proceedings to rule on the bail application by Sowore and Bakare.
The Nigerian Government arraigned Sowore and Bakare on Monday before the judge on seven counts bordering on alleged conspiracy to commit treason and money laundering among other charges.
When the court resumed sitting on Friday, counsel to the defendants, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), pleaded with the court to grant bail to his clients but the prosecutor, Mr Hassan Liman, objected to the request.
After listening to the submissions of the two lawyers, the Justice Ojukwu noted that the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA) was clear as to when someone charged with treason can be granted bail.
She, therefore, granted bail to the two defendants in a total sum of N150 million, emphasising that, “Since the charge before the court does not carry any death penalty, I am inclined to grant bail.”
She granted bail to Sowore, the first defendant, in the sum of N100 million and two sureties in like sum.
The judge, who said the sureties must swear to an affidavit means of over N50 million and show evidence of tax payment, added that the first defendant must deposit his travel documents with the court and prohibited him from holding any public rally and must stay within the jurisdiction of Abuja.
Justice Ojukwu equally granted bail to Bakare, the second defendant, in the sum of N50 million and a surety in like sum, explaining that he must deposit his travel documents with the court and stay within Abuja.
The second defendant was further instructed not to hold any rally and must not contravene any part of the bail conditions like that of the first defendant.
“Where there is a violation of the bail conditions,” the judge threatened that “the court would not fail to revoke the bail.”