From the look of things, freedom for Omoyele Sowore, the publisher of Sahara Reporters may take more days as a Chief Magistrates’ Court in Abuja has granted him stringent bail conditions, that he will find difficult to fulfill.
The court, presided over by Mabel Segun-Bello granted the Sahara Reporters publisher N20million bail and two sureties in like sum. One of the sureties must be a federal civil servant not below grade level 12.
The difficulty will be in getting a civil servant with N20million.
While ruling on the bail application filed by Sowore’s lawyer, Marshal Abubakar, the Chief Magistrate, Mabel Segun-Bello, ruled that the sureties must reside in Abuja metropolis with landed properties and known addresses.
Among the conditions of bail is that Sowore must physically report to the registrar of Federal Capital Territory High Court every Monday and Friday pending the determination of the case against him.
He is also not expected to travel outside Abuja and the country.
However, the 2nd to 5th defendants were admitted to less stringent bail in the sum of N1million and one surety in like sum.
Those arrested with Sowore on New Year’s eve were Peter Williams, Sanyaolu Juwon, Emmanuel Bulus and Damilare.
The judge has adjourned the matter till 5 February for trial.
The activists were arrested and brutalized by armed policemen on crossover night, December 31, 2020, for organising a candlelight procession to celebrate New Year at Gudu junction in Abuja.
They were first arraigned on 4 January, charged with unlawful assembly, and inciting public disturbance.
The court then ordered the activists to be remanded at Kuje Correctional Centre.