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DSS arraigns Sowere, denies arresting Onumah

Convener of #RevolutionNow Protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, at the Federal High Court in Abuja on September 30, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.

Convener of #RevolutionNow protest, Mr Omoyele Sowore, has arrived the Federal High Court in Abuja for his arraignment on charges of treasonable felony and other sundry offences instituted against him by the Federal Government.

The DSS on August 3, 2019 arrested Sowore for calling for a revolution through a protest scheduled to hold on August 5.

This is the first time Sowore will appear in court and any public place since he was arrested.

Sowore, the publisher of online news platform Sahara Reporters, will be arraigned alongside his co-defendant, Mr Olawale Bakare.

The duo were brought to the court on Monday by operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS).

He arrived to the ecstatic arm of supporters who did not realise that the trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, was already in court.

This forced the trial judge to return to chambers but returned to the courtroom moments later.

Sowore and Bakare are to face seven charges preferred against him by the Federal Government.

Among the charges are alleged conspiracy to commit treason, money laundering, and insulting the President.

The arraignment comes one week after Justice Taiwo Taiwo ordered the release of Mr Sowore, more than five days after a detention order the judge issued against him elapsed.

Arrested Dr Chido Onumah

However, the Department on Monday said it never arrested Dr Chido Onumah as being speculated in the media.

He said Onumah was rather engaged in an interaction on how his act could undermine public order and national security.

Onumah is an advocate for the protection of whistleblowers and the executive director, African Centre for Media and Information Literacy (AFRICMIL) and the author of ”We Are All Biafrans”.

Dr Peter Afunanya, the Public Relations Officer of the Service said in a statement in Abuja.

According to him, on his arrival at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Saturday, it was discovered that Onumah wore a T-shirt with inscription, “WE ARE ALL BIAFRANS”.

“With credible intelligence that he might be a subject of mob attack if allowed to go into town in the same cloth, the Service invited him and drew his attention to the implications of his probable (un)intended action.

He understood the issues and pledged not to engage in activities that may cause disaffection in Abuja and the country at large, he said.

Afunanya said Onumah subsequently, removed the cloth with the inciting symbols and inscriptions and agreed not to use it, adding that the interaction was held in a convivial atmosphere.

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