A magistrate court in the nation’s capital Abuja has granted bail to Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters’ in the sum of N20 million ($52,459), a bail sum the publisher has said is to high.
Other activists, who were arrested with Sowore on New Year’s Eve in Abuja for holding a protest against bad governance, were also granted bail in the sum of N1m ($2,622) each.
The police had arraigned Sowore, Peter Williams, Sanyaolu Juwon, Emmanuel Bulus and Damilare Adenola on a three-count charge bordering on conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and incitement.
Mabel Segun-Bello, the magistrate while ruling on the bail application on Monday said the defendants did not resist arrest while being apprehended.
The second, third, fourth and fifth defendants were granted bail in liberal terms with a bond of one million each.
They are also to produce one surety in like sum who “must be resident in Abuja with an identifiable workplace and residential address”.
“The first defendant, however, Omoyele Sowore is also admitted to bail in the sum of N20 million and two sureties in like sum,” the magistrate said.
The magistrate said Sowore must report physically to the chief registrar of the FCT high court or any other person designated by the chief registrar every Monday and Friday mornings until the end of the case.
All defendants must not travel outside Abuja metropolis or outside the country pending the determination of the case.
In his reaction, Sowore said the bail conditions were too stringent, noting that the bail sum was too high for a civil servant to have as no civil servant would want to risk his or her job.
By Abel Ejikeme