The Take It Back Movement has launched a GoFundMeaccount to raise funds for the bail of pro-democracy campaigner and Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore was arrested by the Department of State Services on August 3, 2019, for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand for a better country.
On October 4, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu of the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered his release on bail – the judge submitted that Sowore should provide N100m and two sureties in like sum.
The judge also said that one of the sureties must own landed property and deposit N50m and show evidence of tax payment since 2016, while Sowore was barred from travelling outside Abuja and also speaking to the press.
Speaking on Monday, Director of the Take It Back Movement, Joshua Adeoye, said the launch of the GoFundMeaccount was necessitated by the huge bail condition slammed on Sowore.
He said, “Despite a blatant lack of evidence to support the laughable charges brought against him, Sowore has been kept in detention for over 60 days and counting, also despite a court order to release him on bail.
“Now, the government has demanded a king's ransom for him – N100m, which, together with the N50m being demanded for another revolutionary, Mandate, amounts to N150m.
“This is in addition to other equally-specious conditions which we intend to appeal.
“We intend to unite behind Omoyele Sowore in cash and in kind by raising funds to meet those demands.”
At the time of filing this report, the account had raised around $480.
On September 30, Justice Taiwo Taiwo of the Federal High Court, Abuja, had granted Sowore bail and ordered the DSS to release him after he met the condition given by depositing his international passport with the court.
But despite that ruling, President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime refused to free him, attracting condemnation from across the world.
The government is charging Sowore for insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his government – charges the pro-democracy campaigner vehemently denies and that had been described by legal practitioners across and beyond Nigeria as laughable and baseless.
The matter was adjourned to November 6, 7 and 8 for accelerated trial by the court.