Crime Legal Nigeria Top Story Treason

Federal High Court Discharges Sowore and Bakare of Treason Charges

Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare have been discharged of alleged treasonable felony charges by the Federal High Court, Abuja. This decision follows the withdrawal of the charges by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), Mr Lateef Fagbemi, SAN.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in his ruling, announced the discharge of the defendants, stating, “In view of the application made by the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation, this charge, between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and Omoyele Sowore and another, is hereby struck out and the defendants discharged.”

Additionally, Justice Nwite ordered the immediate release of seized items and funds from both Sowore and Bakare, including phones and cash confiscated during their arrests. He also directed the Department of State Service (DSS) to return Sowore’s international passport.

The legal battle, which began in 2019, saw Sowore and Bakare facing charges of treason and attempts to overthrow the government of former President Muhammadu Buhari.


The decision to withdraw the charges was presented by A.R. Tahir, an Assistant Chief State Counsel from the Federal Ministry of Justice, who filed a notice of discontinuance of the case. Tahir invoked relevant sections of the Constitution and the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, to support the withdrawal.

In response, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, representing Sowore and Bakare, expressed appreciation for the discontinuation of the case, commending the Attorney-General for the decision. Falana also urged the court to compel the DSS to return seized items and funds to the defendants.

However, Tahir opposed Falana’s request to dismiss the case, asserting that the matter started afresh before Justice Nwite after reassignment.

In his ruling, Justice Nwite aligned with Tahir’s argument, emphasising the AGF’s authority to discontinue a case. He upheld the withdrawal of the charges and subsequently struck out the case.


This ruling marks the resolution of a legal battle that had persisted since 2019, demonstrating the complexities of legal proceedings and the critical role of legal representation in safeguarding the rights of defendants.

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