The Chief Registrar of the Lagos State Judiciary, Mrs Taiwo Olatokun, Wednesday denied a news report that she instructed Magistrates to deny bail to #RevolutionNow protesters.
She said the report published on Sahara Reporters yesterday was untrue and was could “mislead the public.”
In a statement, the Chief Registrar noted that the six #RevolutionNow protesters arraigned by the police at an Ebute-Meta Magistrates’ Court yesterday were granted bail by Chief Magistrate A.O. Komolafe and were in the process of fulfilling the bail terms.
The statement reads: “The attention of the Lagos State Judiciary has been drawn to a news report in Sahara Reporters that the Chief Registrar has ordered Magistrates in the state not to grant bail to persons arraigned by police over Monday protest in Lagos.
“We wish to state that there is no iota of truth in the report as no such instruction was given by the Chief Registrar.
“We also wish to state that Magistrate Komolafe of Ebute Meta Magistrate Court in whose court some of the protesters were arraigned actually granted the defendants bail.
“However, in line with generally known and established procedure, admission to bail by the court requires affected individuals to subsequently fulfill the conditions of bail for the bail to take full effect. This is purely at the instance of the defendants after the court has done its part and in this particular case, the defendants are in the process of complying with the bail conditions.
“We reiterate that there was no instruction from the Chief Registrar to refuse them bail and employ media organisations to always verify their report to avoid misleading the public.”
Wednesday, a lawyer and five other persons, who allegedly partook in the #RevolutionNow protests convened by the publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore, were yesterday brought before Chief Magistrate Komolafe.
First to sixth defendants – Ehis Omoshomio, 35; Gabriel Ojumah (Esq), 51, Juwon Sanyaolu, 22; Stanley Anobi, 28; Elias Ozikpu, 30; Kenechukwu Ukachukwu, 25, – were arraigned by the police on a two-count charge of unlawful assembly and conduct likely to cause breach of the peace.
The State Criminal Intelligence and Information Department (SCIID) Panti alleged that the defendants unlawfully assembled themselves “in such manner as to cause fear and disturb the public peace.”
Prosecuting Counsel Anota Oluseye said the defendants committed the offence on August 5, at 10am, at Surulere Stadium, Lagos.
He alleged that the six defendants assembled at the National Stadium Surulere to protest, adding that the gathering was unlawful and caused fear to the public.
The offences, the prosecutor added, infringed sections 44 and 168(1)(d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Each defendant pleaded not guilty.
Following a bail application by their counsel, Mr Stanley Imhanruor, Chief Magistrate A.O. Komolafe admitted Ojumah, a lawyer, to bail on self-recognizance and the other five defendants to N100, 000 bail each with two sureties in the like sum.
Komolafe adjourned further proceedings till September 26.
According to Sowore, the presidential candidate of the African Action Congress in the February 2019 General Election, #RevolutionNow, is a protest against bad governance in Nigeria.
He is under Department of State Services custody having been arrested on Saturday morning.