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Sowore’s lawyer says bail conditions impossible to meet

Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow Movement, is still in custody of the Department of State Services (DSS) because his bail conditions have not been met.

The federal high court in Abuja on Friday granted a N100 million bail to Sowore with two sureties who must be resident in Abuja and have landed properties within the federal capital territory.

Ijeoma Ojukwu, the trial judge, held that the sureties must deposit original documents of those properties in the court registry. The judge also ordered that one of the sureties must deposit N50 million with the court pending the determination of the case.

While barring Sowore from travelling outside Abuja, she ordered him to deposit his passport with the court.

The federal government had charged him with treasonable felony, “insulting” President Muhammadu Buhari and money laundering.

Speaking on Saturday, Inibehe Effiong, a lawyer in Sowore’s legal team, described the bail conditions as “stringent and impossible to meet”.

“Those conditions are not conditions that can be fulfilled. We have made contacts and explored all channels, clearly, nobody is willing to be a surety for that amount. That amount of money is not available, it is not realistic under the current economic situation,” he said.

Effiong said the defence team would go back to the judge to demand a review of the bail conditions.

“We are going back to the trial court next week to seek a variation of the bail conditions,” he said.

“We understand bail is at the discretion of the court but the Administration of Criminal Justice Act allows us to apply for a variation where the conditions are such that the defendants cannot meet.”

Olawale Bakare, Sowore’s co-defendant, was given a N50m bail bond with one surety in like sum.

Just like Sowore, his surety must be resident in Abuja and submit original documents of landed assets.

All sureties would also be required to submit evidence of tax clearance for 2016, 2017, 2018.

The Cable

Former UK PM against me because I signed anti-gay law – Jonathan

Former President Goodluck Jonathan says ex-Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, David Cameron, is against him because he signed the Ant-Same sex Marriage Bill into law.

Jonathan said this while reacting to claims by Cameron that he (Jonathan) prevented UK troops from rescuing some of the 276 schoolgirls abducted by Boko Haram from Chibok, Borno State.

Cameron, in his recently published memoir titled, ‘For the Record’, had claimed that a team of UK soldiers had located some of the Chibok girls but “Nigeria’s President, Goodluck Jonathan, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. When he eventually made a statement, it was to accuse the campaigners of politicising the tragedy. And absolutely crucially, when we offered to help rescue the girls we had located, he refused.”

In his response, however, Jonathan described the former UK leader’s claims as a tissue of lies.

Jonathan said as President of Nigeria at that time, he came under almost unbearable pressure from the Cameron administration to pass legislation supporting LGBTQ Same Sex marriage in Nigeria.

The former President said his conscience could not stomach that, because as President of Nigeria, he swore on the Bible to advance Nigeria’s interests, and not the interest of the United Kingdom or any foreign power.

He said, “As such, on Monday, January 13, 2014, I signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law after the bill had been passed by an overwhelming bipartisan majority of Nigeria’s parliament, in line with the wishes of the Nigerian people.

“This happened shortly after a study of 39 nations around the world by the US Pew Research Centre came up with a finding which indicated that 98 per cent of Nigerians were opposed to the idea of gay marriage.

“Immediately after I took this patriotic action, my government came under almost unbearable pressure from Mr. Cameron, who reached me through envoys, and made subtle and not so subtle threats against me and my government.”

He said meetings were held at the White House and at the Portcullis House in Parliament UK, with the then Nigerian opposition, All Progressives Congress, to disparage him, after he had signed the Same-Sex Marriage Prohibition Bill into law.

On the allegation of corruption, Jonathan said Transparency International, which is globally acknowledged as the adjudicator of who is corrupt and who is not, stated that Nigeria made great improvements in the fight against corruption

We located Chibok girls but Jonathan didn’t allow us rescue them – David Cameron

David Cameron, former British prime minister, has alleged that ex-President Goodluck Jonathan did not give enough support to Britain during the abduction of 274 schoolgirls in Chibok, Borno state.

The abduction, which took place on April 14 2014, had sparked a global outrage following which the international community offered to assist Nigeria.

In For The Record, his memoir, Cameron, who was in office at the time of the incident, said British troops traced the location of some of the victims and offered to help but Jonathan refused.

“Iraq wasn’t the only place we would need our military to counter this extremist menace. Boko Haram in Nigeria was linked to al-Qaeda, and believed Western education and lifestyles were a sin (the meaning behind its name). It too wanted to institute a caliphate, and like ISIS it would use whatever barbaric means it thought necessary,” Cameron wrote in the book.

“In early 2014 a group of its fighters centered the government secondary school in the village of Chibok, seizing 276 teenage girls. They were taken to camps deep in the forest. The Christians among them were forced to convert to Islam. Many were sold as slaves, entering the same endless violent nightmare the Yazidi women suffered.

“As ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaign spread across the world, we embedded a team of military and intelligence experts in Nigeria, and sent spy planes and Tornadoes with thermal imaging to search for the missing girls. And, amazingly, from the skies above a forest three times the size of Wales, we managed to locate some of them.

Cameron said he expected Jonathan to handle the Chibok issue better

“But Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, seemed to be asleep at the wheel. When he eventually made a statement, it was to accuse the campaigners of politicising the tragedy. And absolutely crucially, when we offered to help rescue the girls we had located, he refused.”