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A Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, and a former senator, Shehu Sani, were at the Federal High Court in Abuja Monday to observe the trial of an activist, Omoyele Sowore.

A former chairman of Nigeria’s human rights commission, Chidi Odinkalu, was also in court for the trial.

Mr Soyinka arrived at about 8:50 a.m., five minutes after Mr Sowore arrived at the court.

When PREMIUM TIMES approached the Nobel Laureate to speak on his appearance in court, he declined to comment and said any comment could land him in detention.

“The way I came into the court with two legs, that is how I want to go out of the court with my two legs,” he said jokingly.

Also speaking was Mr Sowore, who said he is not enjoying his freedom as his movement is restricted to Abuja, where he has no house or family.

Mr Sowore and a co-accused, Olawale Bakare, are standing trial on a seven-count charge of treasonable felony, fraud, cyberstalking and insulting President Muhammadu Buhari.

READ ALSO: Politics in the Court

Messr Sowore and Bakare were arrested on August 3 by the State Security Services (SSS) for planning a protest popularised with the hashtag #RevolutionNow.

The SSS had on December 6 rearrested Mr Sowore at the premises of the Federal High Court in Abuja a day after he was released from their custody. The publisher and Mr Bakare were released the night before on the order of Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu after spending 124 days in SSS custody.

Mr Sowore was later released on December 24, 2019.

The trial was yet to commence on Wednesday at the time of this report.


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