#EndSARS: Court Strikes Out Suit Against Sam Adeyemi, Davido, Deji Adeyanju, 47 Others
High court sitting in federal capital territory (FCT) has struck out a suit filed by one Kenechukwu Okeke, a human rights activist, against 50 celebrities and activists concerning activities on #EndSARS protests.
The court also restrained Nigeria Police Force and Okeke from taking any steps to prosecute the individuals for the role played during #EndSARS protest.
In November, Okeke filed criminal proceedings before a magistrate court in Abuja against 50 persons for “promoting” the October 2020 #EndSARS protests.
In the suit, he alleged that the defendants acted in a manner “with intent to assist in the promotion of an unlawful assembly under the guise or composition of #EndSARS”.
Some of the persons listed as defendants are Sam Adeyemi, senior pastor of Daystar Christian Centre; Aisha Yesufu; Kanu Nwankwo; Joe Abah; Kiki Mordi; Feyikemi Abudu and Damini Ogulu, a musician better known as Burna Boy.
Others include David Adeleke (Davido), Folarin Falana (Falz), Debo Adebayo (Mr Macaroni), Maryam Apaokagi, Peter and Paul Okoye, Innocent Idibia, Bankole Wellington, Tiwa Savage, Michael Ajereh; Ayo Balogun (Wizkid), Ayo Sogunro and Deji Adeyanju.
The celebrities had, however, filed a suit before a magistrate’s court, seeking the dismissal of the charges, while Okeke had filed a counter motion seeking a dismissal of the suit.
The magistrate’s court, had, in its ruling, ordered ordered the commissioner of police in FCT to investigate the defendants and report back to the court after two weeks.
However, Bello Kawu, judge of FCT high court, in his ruling on Friday, said the suit filed by Deji Adeyanju in his representative capacity is proper, adding that the high court is acting in its supervisory jurisdiction over the magistrate’s court against the criminal proceedings filed by Okeke.
Samuel Ihensekhien, counsel for Adeyanju and 49 other #EndSARS protesters, said the ruling shows that peaceful protest is legal and not a crime in Nigeria.
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.
The court adjourned the trial till September 7.