The Federal Government has filed an application before the Abuja High Court seeking permission to mask witnesses to be called against the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest protest, Omoyele Sowore and his co-accused, Olawale Bakare.
Sowore and his associate, Olawale Bakare, are charged with treasonable felony, fraud, cyber stalking, among others in the case being prosecuted by the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF).
In a motion on notice filed on March 5 by A. K. Alilu, the prosecution prayed the court for three main reliefs.
It wants an order “excluding persons other than parties and their legal representatives, with the exception of the accredited members of the press at the hearing of the above named charge.”
The prosecution also wants the court to grant “an order directing that the court should be vacated whenever the prosecution witnesses are coming to testify in the screen or be masked and that only the trial judge, parties and their legal representatives, with the exception of the accredited members of the press, will see the witnesses when they are testifying.”
It is also praying for “an order directing that the real names and addresses of prosecution witnesses in the proceedings shall not be disclosed.”
It stated, in a supporting affidavit, that its intention to shield its witnesses was informed among others, by the fact that the defendants are being tried for serious offences that could attract life imprisonment on conviction.
The prosecution added that its witnesses are afraid to testify or give evidence in the open, unless they are protected, for fear of being murdered by the defendants, their cohorts or members of the “Revolution Now” protest group across the country.
It also said its witnesses are mainly officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) , who investigated the case.
The prosecution stated that the witnesses are reluctant to come an give evidence for fear of being attacked by the other members of the “Revolution Now” protest group.
The motion is expected to be hear on March 11 when the case was adjourned to.
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