Today November 6th , the trial of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow protest begins.
The activist is charged with treasonable felony, insulting President Muhammadu Buhari, disturbing public peace and six counts of money laundering.
Sowore’s ordeal began on August 3rd when operatives of the Department Of State Security Service DSS arrested him less than 48 hours to the commencement of his #RevolutionNow nationwide protest.
The protest which still held in Lagos and Osun states saw stiff security clampdown which led to the arrest of many including Sowore’s co-defendant Olawale Bakare.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High court on August 8th granted an ex parte application by the DSS to detain Sowore for 45 days to enable the agency conduct investigations. At the expiration of the 45 days, Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered Sowore’s release following an application for his release or release his counsel, Femi Falana.
This order was not obeyed by the DSS as Sowore remained in custody till his arraignment on September 30th . Sowore took a plea of not guilty to all the charges leveled against him and was granted bail on October 4th by Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High court to the tune of N100 naira and two sureties in like sum and a deposit of N50million naira.
The bail condition was reportedly too stringent as Sowore’s counsel, Femi Falana who returned to court on October 21st. Justice Ojukwu varied the conditions by waiving the earlier requirement that Sowore should deposit N50m as security. She adjourned till November 6th and 7th for commencement of trial. As at November 6th , Omoyele Sowore has been in DSS custody for 96 days.
While many view Sowore’s ordeal as government’s suppression of opposition views, there are a significant number of people who believe the #RevolutionNow masterminded this to increase his relevance.
Fellow activist, Charly Boy Oputa aka Area Fada is one who holds such view. Charly Boy believes Sowore brought his incarceration upon himself accusing him being “buddies” with the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu.
Charly Boy believes government is playing into a well written script by Sowore designed to project him as a hero and champion.
Whichever the case, there is no doubt Sowore’s ordeal has brought international attention to his plight and may have won him many sympathizers as well as supporters.
All eyes are now on his trial to see how the story ends.