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Court Dismisses #EndSARS Suit against Davido, Falz, Burna Boy, and others

The Federal High Court, Abuja, has dismissed the lawsuit filed by a human rights activist, Kenechukwu Okeke, against Davido, Falz, Burnaboy and others, during the October 2020 #EndSARS protests.

Kenechukwu Okeke had in November 2020 filed criminal proceedings before a magistrate court in Abuja against 50 individuals including celebrities and activists over claims they promoted the October 2020 #EndSARS protests through their tweets and physical involvement. 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”.

The individuals included Deji Adeyanju, Tiwa Savage, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Tuface, Kanu Nwankwo, Davido, Banky W, Uche Jombo, Kiki Mordi, Falz, Yul Edochie, Flavour, Yemi Alade, Peter Okoye, Pastor Sam Adeyemi, Paul Okoye, Burna Boy, Modupe “Moe” Odele, and many more.

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 dismissal of their countersuit. The magistrate’s court, had, in its ruling, ordered the commissioner of police in FCT to investigate the defendants and report back to the court after two weeks.

The judge, Justice Bello Kawu, in a ruling delivered on Friday, July 2, 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.

Samuel Ihensekhien, counsel for Adeyanju and 49 other #EndSARS protesters while reacting to the judgment, 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”, Ihensekhien said.

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. 

The matter has been adjourned to September 7, 2021.

News link: http://saharareporters.com/2021/07/02/breaking-endsars-court-strikes-out-government-sponsored-motion-against-deji-adeyanju

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