Justice Ifeoma Ojukwu of the federal high court in Abuja on Wednesday ordered the Federal Government of Nigeria to pay the sum of N200,000 each to Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare.
The judge awarded the cost following the failure of the prosecution counsel, Aminu Alilu, to serve the defendants with copies of the amended charge ahead of Wednesday’s proceedings.
The attitude of the prosecution consequently stalled the trial as the prosecution was forced to ask for an adjournment.
Justice Ojokwu in her ruling held that in view of the fact that the prosecution had exhausted the five adjournments it is entitled to under the provisions of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act (ACJA), 2015, the request for an adjournment will come with a cost.
She accordingly awarded the cost of N200,000 against the prosecution in favour of the defendants in line with section 396 of ACJA.
The judge, thereafter, adjourned the trial to Thursday, February 13.
Sowore and Bakare are standing trial in a case brought against them by President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.
Nobel Laureate, Prof Wole Soyinka, former senator representing Kaduna Central, Shehu Sani, a former Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Prof Chidi Odinkalu, and another activist, Deji Adeyanju, came to the court in solidarity with Sowore.