Who will bail Omoyele Sowore?
By Ogbuefi Ndigbo
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja yesterday varied Omoyele Sowore’s bail conditions following an application filed by his counsel, Femi Falana, SAN.
The presiding judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu said Sowore’s bail can only be reduced to N50 million while his co-defendant, Bakare’s should be reduced to N20 million.
The judge said she found it difficult to believe a man of Sowore’s pedigree does not have anyone to deposit N50 million.
Sowore, the publisher of SahraReporters online media and convener of #RevolutionNow protest, is being prosecuted for treason and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari.
Sowore’s predicament illustrates why NO ONE fights for Nigeria.
If Sowore had been fighting for Oduduwa Republic, south west politicians would have been queuing to provide surety for him!
When I founded Transform Nigeria Movement 9 years ago, it had limited success because funding was limited, but when I founded SouthEast SouthSouth Network two years ago, it had better success, my friend that founded Igbo Ekunie Initiative had better success still.
See what Reno Omokri wrote:
Nnamdi Kanu was granted bail on April 25, 2017, on the condition 3 sureties provided ₦100 million each. 3 days later, he had fulfilled the conditions and was released on April 28, 2017.
Sowore was granted bail on October 4, 2019 on the condition 2 sureties provided ₦100 million each.
A week later, the amount was reduced to ₦50 million each. 2 weeks later, Sowore remains in jail.
The moral of the story is this-if you must fight at all, fight for your people, and your people will stand for you. But when you fight and nobody can really say who you are fighting for, it will be hard for anyone to stand for you because they do not know who, what and where are your constituents.
The sad thing is that even those who have imprisoned you will realise how little your value is to your own people that they will start to reduce your bail little by little.
By Reno Omokri
Ruling on the application for variation of the bail conditions on Monday, Ojukwu said: “Considering the pedigree of the first defendant as observed in his application, it is rather unfortunate that no one is willing to stand as his surety on those terms.
“On the other hand, it creates an assumption that despite the pedigree of the first defendant, none of his best associates is willing to stand for him. This poses a cause for concern.”
The other conditions for bail are two sureties who must be resident in Abuja and have landed properties within the federal capital territory (FCT).
The sureties were also to deposit affidavit of means for their assets.
The case was adjourned until November 6 and 7.
Reno Omokri also wrote:
“Despite the stringent bail conditions set for Nnamdi Kanu, Igbos wasted no time fulfilling it. Sowore’s bail terms are nowhere near as tough as Nnamdi Kanu’s, yet no one has stood for him.
“Yet, while he was in detention and court, many people were talking tough in his defence. It just tells you a lot about Igbo communal spirit as compared to other ethnic nationalities.
“If Sowore was Igbo, he would have been out of jail by now. An Igbo Senator, Enyinnaya Abaribe, risked jail, put his Senatorial office on the line, to stand as surety for Kanu.
“Are you trying to tell me that none of Sowore’s kinsmen have ordinary ₦50 million? I am yet to see a people who love themselves like the Igbo.
“In America, believe it or not, Igbo unions give new comers loans to set up their own businesses. I have seen news stories of destitute Nigerians abroad who need assistance. That can never happen to an Igbo. Other Igbos in that community will rally round and rehabilitate him of her. Let us all learn that self love from Ndi’Igbo and Nigeria will be better for it.”
Mr Omokri however ignores two things:
1. Those capable of bailing him are in Buhari’s govt. Trust politicians. Not one of them would want to cross Buhari’s path. Moreover, what is the political benefit of doing so?
In Kanu’s case, standing surety for him translates to a huge political capital in Igboland. If in doubt ask Senator Enyinnaya Abaribe and Mr Osita Chidoka, who reaped huge political capital for posting Nnamdi Kanu’s bail.
2. Nnamdi Kanu’s experience is a warning. Sowore is an American citizen. When Nnamdi Kanu, being a UK citizen fled Nigeria and returned to London, it created huge problems for his benefactors. His Sureties are still battling in court not to lose their 200 million Naira bail bond.