The Federal Capital Territory High Court sitting in Kubwa, Abuja has dismissed a motion filed by a government-sponsored activist, Kenechukwu Okeke to strike out the substantive suit filed by 50 celebrities and human rights activists to stop their trial and direct criminal complaint/suit filed against them.
The court also by this ruling upheld all injunctive orders restraining the Nigeria Police Force, Kenechukwu Okeke from taking any steps to prosecute the 50 Nigeria individuals over the 2020 EndSARS protest.
Okeke had filed a suit in his capacity at the FCT Magistrate’s Court Wuse Zone 6 against all the 50 individuals for showing support for the October 2020 #EndSARS protest by tweeting about it or getting physically involved.
Ruling on the matter on Friday, Justice Bello Kawu held that the injunctive orders made by the court and the suit filed by the human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju in his representative capacity is proper and legal in law as the FCT High Court sitting in Kubwa-FCT is acting in its supervisory jurisdiction over the lower Magistrate’s Court, against the criminal suit filed by Kenechukwu Okeke.
The lead counsel for Adeyanju, Samuel Ihensekhien, representing 49 others in the suit, commended the ruling, adding that it was a victory for the ordinary people of Nigeria, and a pointer to the fact that peaceful protest is not a crime in Nigeria.
He said the landmark ruling would enable the court to take and entertain their final application to quash and dismiss the frivolous, direct criminal complaint and charge filed by Okeke at the Magistrate’s Court against the affected individuals.
Ihensekhien said, “By virtue of today’s ruling, his motion of dismissal of this substantive case has been dismissed by the honourable FCT High Court. The consequence of it is that the court will hear the substantive application to formally dismiss the pending criminal complaint and charge before the Magistrate’s court.
“We are so happy and justice can still be found in Nigeria in spite of the elaborate and extensive arguments over whether this case should be dismissed or not. Thank God the court held in our favour and we are so grateful.”
The matter has been adjourned to September 7, 2021.
The lawyer alleged that during the protest, his belongings were destroyed and that the defendants who promoted the #EndSARS protests must be brought to justice.
Those listed as defendants include Sam Adeyemi, senior pastor of Daystar Christian Centre; Kanu Nwankwo, former Nigerian international footballer; Innocent Idibia, Nigerian singer and songwriter, popularly known as 2face; David Adeleke, Nigerian Afropop singer, better known as Davido.
Others listed in the suit include Aisha Yesufu, Kiki Mordi, Peter Okoye, Paul Okoye, Deji Adeyanju, Tiwa Savage, Folarin Falana (Falz), Feyikemi Abudu, and Debo Adebayo.