The police in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, arraigned human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, and his colleagues at the Wuse Magistrate Court.
The police arraigned Sowore, Juwon Sanyaolu, Damilare Adenola, Peter and Kimrere in court.
The activists, who were initially not allowed access to their lawyers, were arraigned on the trumped-up charges of unlawful assembly, criminal conspiracy and inciting public disturbance.
The activists pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The FCT police prepared the charges against the activists, despite calls from global and national rights groups condemning the police brutality, arrest and detention.
In court, the case was between the activists and the FCT Commissioner of Police.
One J.C.A. Idachaba is the lawyer leading the FCT command prosecution team that includes Adama Musa and D. J. Emenike, while Marshal from Femi Falana Chambers represented the activists.
The Magistrate said that having heard from both sides on representation, based on the constitution, everyone charged for criminal matters has a right to have access to legal representation of their choice.
She asked Sowore to confirm Marshal as his lawyer.
The charges were read before Sowore and others, and when they were asked to take their plea on the charge against them. Sowore and others all answered false except the 4th and 5th defendant who spoke Hausa.
The magistrate noted that Sowore and others need time, decent facility and access to their phones to prepare for the case.
The hearing is still ongoing.