Judge withdraws from Sowore’s case 

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Justice Ahmed Mohammed of the Federal High Court in Abuja has withdrawn from the fundamental rights enforcement suit instituted by Omoyele Sowore, seeking an order for his release from custody of the Department of State Service. 

Since he was re-arrested on December 6, the federal government is yet to file fresh charges against the Pro-Democracy activist.

Sowore and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, were first arrested in August 2019 and were later in September charged with treasonable felony among other offences, for calling for the ‘RevolutionNow’ protests, which the Federal Government interpreted to be a call for an overthrow of the regime of President Muhammadu Buhari. 

 Justice Mohammed ruled that he could not hear Sowore’s case filed on December 10 saying it was the fair, just and proper thing to do in view of the previous publications by Sowore’s medium, Sahara Reporters, accusing him of taking bribe in a case to influence the outcome of his case. 

The case in question is the trial of a former Governor of Benue State, Senator Gabriel Suswam, who is now being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission before another judge of the court, Justice Okon Abang. 

Justice Mohammed noted that the reports by Sahara Reporters in 2016 and 2019 made him to withdraw from the ex-governor’s trial. 

He recalled that when the first report was published in 2016, he was prevailed upon by the prosecution and defence teams to continue with the case. 

The judge said on continuing with the case, a similar report was published in June this year. 

He added that the situation put him in a situation whereby if he ruled in favour of Sowore, it could be perceived as having being blackmailed by Sowore to so rule, and that in the event that he ruled against the activist, he could be perceived as being vengeful. 

Justice Mohammed further noted that none of the parties involved in the case should have fear or apprehension that he will not get justice before a court as justice is rooted in confidence. 

He then ordered that the case file be sent back to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Justice John Tsoho, for reassignment to another judge. 




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