Rejoinder: Lagos Chief Registrar denies refusing protesters bail
The Lagos State Judiciary has reacted to the online reports concerning the arraignment of the RevolutionNow protesters.
The Chief Registrar of Lagos State denied that he gave orders to magistrates regarding the bail or release of the Protesters from custody.
In a statement on Wednesday, the state judiciary said the chief registrar, Mrs. Olatokun, did not instruct Magistrate A.O. Komolafe of the Ebute Metta Magistrates’ Court, in whose court some of the #RevolutionNow protesters were arraigned, to refuse the defendants bail.
The judiciary said that in line with the generally known and established procedure, admission to bail by the court required the defendants to subsequently fulfill the conditions of bail to secure their release.
“The fulfillment of bail conditions is purely at the instance of the defendants after the court has stated the conditions and in this particular case, the defendants are in the process of complying with the bail conditions,” the statement said.
The state judiciary said it made the clarification following a report by an online newspaper, Sahara Reporters, that the Lagos State court authorities had instructed Magistrate Komolafe not to approve the bail for the #RevolutionNow protesters.
The protesters were arraigned before Mrs Komolafe on Monday, after the police charged them on a two-count charge bordering on unlawful gathering and breach of the peace.
The protesters pleaded not guilty and were granted bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties each.
Recall that it was earlier reported on Wednesday that the state judiciary ordered the magistrate not to sign the bail conditions and that the protesters would be transferred to the Kirikiri Prison for the time being.
The police had on Monday clamped down on protesters of the #RevolutionNow movement, which was convened by the publisher of Sahara Reporters and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Mr Omoyele Sowore.
The activist had called for the protest across the country to demand better governance in the country.
However, two days before the planned protest, he was arrested in Lagos by operatives of the Department State Services, who stormed his house at around 1.15 am and 1.25 am.
His arrest has sparked condemnation by many Nigerians, including Nobel laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana (SAN).
But despite the outrage, Sowore has yet to be released even as the police described his call for revolution as a treasonable felony.
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