The Federal Government of Nigeria has filed a seven-count charge bordering on treasonable felony and money laundering against the Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters and a presidential candidate of African Action Congress in the February 2019 presidential election, is charged along with Olawale Bakare, also known as Mandate.
The charges were signed on behalf of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), by Aminu Alilu, a Chief State Counsel in the Department of Public Prosecutions of the Federation, the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The charges were filed a day before the expiration of the detention order of the Federal High Court in Abuja permitting the Department of State Service to keep the activist for 45 days.
The detention order elapses on September 21.
In the charges instituted against the defendants, the prosecution is accusing 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 aimed at removing the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”.
The prosecution is also accusing them of committing the actual offence of reasonable 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 stagedthe #RevolutionNow protest allegedly aimed at removing the President.
The government further accuses Sowore 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.”
It also accused Sowore of money laundering offences in breach of section 15(1) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 by alleged transferring by means of swift wire, various sums of money from his United Bank of Africa Plc account with number 3002246104 into Sahara Reporters Media Foundation’s account with Guaranty Trust Bank in order to conceal the origin of the funds.
The sums of money he was said to have been involved in the alleged transfers were the sums of $19,975 on April 2, 2019; $20,475 on May 21, 2019, $16,975 on June 27, 2019, and another $16,975 on July 16, 2019.
Listed as exhibits to be relied upon by the prosection are Sowore’s written statement, transcripts of his statement, video recordings, audio recordings, statements of bank accounts, media publication and “any other exhibits the prosecution may later supply in its additional proof of evidence”.
The prosecution also listed six specific witnesses to be called.
They are Paul Clement, Moses Amadi, Cyril Odawn, Paul Okafor, UBA employee, GTB employee and “any other witness or witnesses to be supplied later in the additional proof of evidence”.
The DSS arrested Sowore in Lagos on August 2, 2019, following his call for revolution in a protest he organised to take place in some major cities on August 5.
The security agency accused Sowore, the Sahara Reporters publisher and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the last February 2019 poll, of planning to topple the President Muhammadu Buhari government, through the protest.
Sowore denied the coup allegations insisting that he only mobilised Nigerians to protest against bad governance and other vices.
Following an ex parte application by the DSS, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the same Abuja division of the Federal High Court, on August 8, issued a detention order permitting the security agency to hold the activist for 45 days to enable it to conclude investigations.
On the 9th of August 2018, Sowore, through his lead counsel, Mr Femi Falana (SAN), filed a motion challenging the detention order which the court anchored on Section 27 (1) the Terrorism Prevention (Amendment) Act, 2013.
But the efforts of his lawyers to make the court hear the application which was filed over a month ago failed as the vacation Judge, Justice Evelyn Maha returned the case file to Justice Taiwo.