Confusion as police fail to bring Sowore to court

Omoyele Sowore

The ruling on the bail application filed by publisher of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore has been stalled owing to his absence in court.

Mr Sowore and four others were arrested on New Year eve during a protest. They were on Monday charged with three counts of conspiracy, unlawful assembly and incitement.

On their request, Magistrate Mabel Segun-Bello moved them out of Kuje correctional Centre to the Force Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department (FCIID).

However, on Friday, the defendants’ counsel Marshal Abubakar told journalists that there was confusion among the prosecution as to who is responsible for the case.

“This morning we have reached out to the authorities to bring the defendants to court to listen to the terms and conditions upon which bail would be considered,” he said.

“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 sent it 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 inform 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.”

At press time, there was no legal representative from the office of the DPP.