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February 22, 2024

Update: Treason Case Against Nigerian Journalist Omoyele Sowore Struck Out

A photo of Nigerian journalist Omoyele Sowore.

A photo of Nigerian journalist Omoyele Sowore.

Image Credit: TED Conference, https://www.flickr.com/photos/tedconference/15331807467/

On February 19, 2024, after over five years of delays, a federal High Court struck out the treason case against pro-democracy activist and journalist Omoyele Sowore. As part of the Clooney Foundation’s TrialWatch initiative, the American Bar Association Center for Human Rights has been in the courtroom monitoring proceedings since Mr. Sowore’s arrest on August 2, 2019, for making a series of public statements calling for a peaceful revolution. The High Court’s decision means that Mr. Sowore can finally see his family after four and a half years, as the bail conditions prevented him from traveling.

In December 2020, the Center published a preliminary report on the case, finding that the prosecution "never possessed sufficient evidence" for a criminal case against Mr. Sowore. The report further found that "the delays...are in themselves a form of punishment" and reiterated that "calls for peaceful protest do not constitute treason."

Read the Preliminary Trial Observation Report