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RevolutionNow: Civil Rights Group Protest at AGF’s Office, Demands Investigation of Foreign Associates in Plot to Destabilize Nigeria

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The last seems not to have been heard on the embattled publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore as a group of civil rights activists today in Abuja took to the street to demand the investigation of his foreign  counterparts in the RevolutionNow protest which authorities have claimed is targeted at destabilizing the country.

The protesters, led by the Congress for Defence of Democracy (CDF), ended their walk at the office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, calling for an urgent probe on the nefarious activities of Mr Sowore and his foreign collaborators.

In a petition signed by Convener, Stephen Okenarhe and submitted to the AGF, the CDF revealed that it would be a disservice to the unity of Nigeria should Mr Sowore be granted bail without identifying his foreign sponsors.

According to Okenarhe, the controversial human rights activist have proven to be acting a script by “enemies of Nigeria that are envious of the giant strides recorded in critical sectors of the economy in the past four years under President Muhammadu Buhari”.

Besides the ongoing seven-count charge trial, the group pointed out that Mr Sowore has secretly been receiving illicit funds from some foreign sources while also covertly running the propaganda wing of Boko Haram.

Okenarhe added that the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress even signed a pact with the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and some disgruntled opposition politicians to destabilise the nation.

Mr Sowore, the group reckoned, could eventually jump bail and continue with his nefarious activities – just like Nnamdi Kanu.

The protesters, therefore, called on the AGF “ to use his good office to institute discrete investigation by the concerned authorities to track down and arrest those involved.

“The Attorney General of the Federation may wish to know that the charges brought against Omoyele Sowore are not a reflection of the enormity of the havoc he intended for the country with his planned Revolution Now,” the statement reads in part.

“ The Honourable Attorney General may wish to be informed that Omoyele Sowore has been secretly receiving illicit funds from some foreign sources since the build-up to the general elections for vote-buying. However, he mismanaged the funds, and the alternative was to stage a violent revolution to impress his paymasters.

“ This is on the heels that the Omoyele Sowore indeed planned to cause unrest in the country by receiving a massive amount of monies from questionable sources to procure arms and ammunitions.

“Omoyele Sowore is also known to be courting the members of the opposition party, and because he runs a popular internet news site (Saharareporters.com), he availed himself to members of the opposition to aid their destabilization plot after they lost the elections.

“Omoyele Sowore has been covertly running the propaganda wing of Boko Haram in conjunction with other intellectual asset of the terrorists group in Nigeria. This has seen his news outlet receiving and publishing information on troops’ movements, casualty figures in attacks that never took place or just before they take place etc. But to our greatest surprise, these were neither investigated by the DSS or featured in the charges against Sowore in court.

“Omoyele Sowore also planned to orchestrate mass outcry against the Federal Government of Nigeria in order to trigger wanton killings by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB) led by Nnamdi Kanu. We have it on good authority that he had a meeting with Nnamdi Kanu and these were discussed before his subsequent arrest by the DSS.

“Omoyele Sowore secretly entered a pact with sponsors of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) being Iran to cause unrest in the country in line with an earlier threat that Nigeria will pay for disallowing the lawless activities of the IMN. He has served as the conduit for the transfer of funds to the IMN through the accounts of SaharaReporters where the funds come in donations.

“ Omoyele Sowore in collaboration with the major losers of the 2019 are still nursing the intention of destroying our democratic ethos instead of waiting for the next general election to test their self acclaimed popularity through the ballot.

“ We wish to inform the Honourable Attorney General that with the avalanche of established cases against Omoyele Sowore, it would be indeed a great disservice to the unity of Nigeria should he be granted bail without identifying his sponsors, as well as those with whom Omoyele Sowore plotted with to destabilize the peace and unity of our country.

“ The Honourable Attorney General may also wish to know that as it stands, Omoyele Sowore poses a significant threat to peace and tranquillity in Nigeria, as credible information at public disposal indicates covert plans to organize protests across the country against the government in the name of freedom of expression or bogus claims to fighting for human rights at the detriment of national security.

“The case of Ibraheem El-Zarzarky is also worthy of mention where he plotted to be airlifted to Iran through a brief stop over in Dubai but was intercepted through the vigilante eyes of the security agencies.

“We are by this letter calling on the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation to use his good office to institute discrete investigation by the concerned authorities into the nefarious activities of Omoyele Sowore to track down and arrest those involved in the destabilization agenda.

“We are constrained to add that not until a proper investigation is carried out by the relevant security agencies, releasing Omoyele Sowore will endanger the lives of other citizens, particularly the youths, to carry out actions that will disintegrate the country.

“It is good to mention that the parallel government which Sowore intends to form is already reaching out to countries like Iran for recognition whereas people like Deji Adeyanju, Dayo Ariyo etc are being penciled as Ministers in that arrangement.”

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Dismiss Criminal Charges Against Sowore, Bakare Without Delay, Falana Tells AGF

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Lead Counsel and human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has asked the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), to terminate all legal proceedings against the convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, Mr Omoyele Sowore, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare immediately.

Mr Falana in a statement reacted to the orders by Mr Malami to the DSS, insisting that it is not a take-over because the case was filed from the office of the AGF.

He explained that the AGF has decided to sack the prosecution team led by Dr. Hassan Liman (SAN) and hand over to the DPP.

“It is not a take-over because it was the AGF that filed the Sowore’s case and farmed it out to Dr. Hassan Liman SAN. But in view of the violent invasion of the court by armed operatives of the SSS, the AGF has decided to sack the prosecution team and have the case prosecuted by the DPP.”

Mr Falana stated that the Department of State Services has remained adamant to make a case out of Sowore and are currently fishing for pieces of evidence to nail Sowore.

“Having been advised that Sowore cannot be convicted on the basis of the proof of evidence filed in court the SSS has refused to make the statements of the prosecution witnesses available to the defendants as ordered by the trial court. Hence, hearing in the case has been adjourned to February 20, 2020, at the instance of the Prosecution.

“Convinced that the pending case would collapse like a pack of cards, the SSS is currently fishing for evidence to nail Sowore.

He added that “In spite of the directive of the AGF to take over the case the SSS subjected Sowore to a 4-hour interrogation yesterday (December 12, 2019).

“The entire interrogation pertained to Sowore’s alleged links with the proscribed Boko Haram sect, IPOB, and IMN which he vehemently denied. At Sowore’s instance a member of the legal defense team, Mr. Abubakar Marshal witnessed the marathon interrogation. The plan of the SSS is to charge Sowore with terrorism in line with the unsubstituted allegations of presidential media aides.

“In view of the foregoing, we urge the AGF to file a nolle prosequi motion without any further delay to end the macabre dance which has exposed the country to avoidable embarrassment.”

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Respect Your Oath Of Office, CJN Charges Judges

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The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Mohammad Tanko Ibrahim, has charged judges in the country to always respect their oath of offices by being just and fair in the discharge of their judicial functions.

He said that as judges accountable to God for their deeds, they must ensure that they dispense justice with honesty and transparency to all manners of human beings that come their way.

The CJN who spoke at the inauguration of Justice John Tsoho as the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court and Justice Benedict Kanyip as president of the national industrial court, asked them to live up to expectations of Nigerians.

The CJN also warned the judges not to allow any personal interest to override the discharge of their function as demanded by law and their oath of office adding that on no ground should they compromise on their principles.

“This inauguration does not call for a long speech, but let me remind you that you are holding your new offices in trust for people and you must not do anything to betray the trust.

“You should try as much as possible to justify the oath and your appointment by putting your experience to bear in the discharge of your duties,” he told the judges.

The CJN also reminded them on the need to respect the law by avoiding pitfalls because the law does not respect anybody who runs fowl of the law itself.

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FG Bars Onnoghen From Travelling, Seizes His Passport

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The immediate past Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, has been barred from travelling out of the country by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

The move may be part of a fresh probe into Onnoghen’s affairs. Onnoghen was convicted for not declaring his assets by the Code of Conduct Tribunal in April.

An internal report issued by the Nigeria Immigration Service, which was read out to Punch correspondent by a top officer, stated that Onnoghen, his wife and daughter were attempting to travel to Accra, Ghana when they were accosted by immigration officers.

The report stated, “On November 11, 2019, retired Honourable Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onnoghen, was attempting to travel to Accra, Ghana. He was in company with his wife, Nkoyo, and daughter.

“His passport, with number A50445233, was flagged because Justice Onnoghen’s name was on the watch list. The passport is currently in custody of the NIS.”

The senior officer said the passport seized from Onnoghen was not a diplomatic passport but the ordinary green passport.

The immigration officer told our correspondent that the directive to seize Onnoghen’s passport came from the Presidency.

“Justice Onnoghen will have to meet with the Presidency to know why his passport was seized. We are only following instructions,” the officer said.

A top judicial officer said that Onnoghen’s decision to challenge his conviction by the CCT might have angered the retired Muhammadu Buhari regime.

The Appeal Court had condemned the Buhari regime for the manner in which the trial of Onnoghen was conducted.

In a judgment by the three-man bench led by Justice Stephen Adah, it was unanimously ruled that the CCT’s ex parte order breached the ex-CJN’s right to a fair hearing.

While reading the lead judgment, Justice Adah stated that the proceedings of the CCT shouldn’t have been conducted “in a shady or clandestine manoeuvre” the way the ex parte order was obtained by the prosecution.

However, the court said it could not upturn Onnoghen’s conviction since the trial had already taken place.

A source said, “Even though the NJC (National Judicial Council) recommended that Onnoghen should be paid his benefits in full, I can tell you that he has not been paid anything and all his allowances have stopped.

“His accounts remain frozen. It was some judges who even contributed money for him recently for medicals expenses.

“I was told that his ordeal might be connected with his decision to challenge his conviction at the Court of Appeal which the government of the day might have found embarrassing because the Court of Appeal accused them of depriving Onnoghen of a fair hearing.”

Onnoghen, who was CJN from March 1, 2017 to April 5, 2019, was suspended by Buhari in January, a few weeks to the presidential election, on allegations that he failed to declare five bank accounts in his asset declaration form at the Code of Conduct Bureau.

Buhari hinged his decision to suspend Onnoghen on an ex parte order by the CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar.

Onnoghen’s many attempts to stop his trial were futile.

He also faced a mini-trial at the NJC where the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission presented evidence against him.

The NJC subsequently recommended his retirement with full benefits and Onnoghen immediately complied and tendered his resignation before Buhari on April 5.

However, his resignation letter was not acknowledged by the buhari regime until his conviction by the CCT on May 28.

The CCT ordered Onnoghen’s sacking and barred him from holding public office for 10 years.

It also ordered that the sums of money in different currencies found in his Standard Chartered Bank accounts, a total of N46m, be forfeited to the Buhari regime.

It was reported by an online news outlet, The Cable, that a retired CJN is entitled to cash and other perks worth N2.5bn.

As part of the package for a retired chief justice, a house will be built for him in Abuja with a nine-digit sum for furnishing — in addition to a severance gratuity that is 300 per cent of his annual basic salary of N3,363,972.50, as well as pension for life.

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