By Alex Enumah
Justice Bello Kawu of a High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Kubwa, Abuja on Wednesday halted the trial of Comrade Deji Adeyanju and 49 others accused of promoting the #ENDSARS protest that rocked the entire country last October.
Justice Kawu halted trial of the defendants in a ruling on an exparte application brought by Adeyanju.
Following a Direct Criminal Complaint filed by the Police last November, Magistrate Omolola Akindele of a Chief Magistrate Court in Abuja had ordered the Commissioner of Police in the FCT to investigate the role played by the defendants in the protest that saw the loss of dozens of lives and properties worth billions of naira across states in the federation.
An activist, Kenechukwu Okeke who filed the complaint had alleged that during the riot, his properties were destroyed and the defendants who promoted the #EndSARS protests must be brought to justice.
Ruling in the application, the magistrate gave the police two weeks to investigate the matter and send a report for proper adjudication.
But Adeyanju in a suit marked: FCT/HC/BW/M/545/2020 filed on behalf of himself and 49 others is challenging the suit at the Magistrate Court.
In a motion exparte filed on January 13, 2021, the applicant prayed the court for an order granting him leave to issue and serve on the defendants which include Okeke, Nigeria Police Force and CP FCT “an application for judicial review against the proceedings of Magistrate Akindele.
He also prayed for another order of transfer of the entire proceedings of the case file and the Direct Criminal Complaint.
Adeyanju urged that if the orders are granted by the High Court then it should “serve as a stay of proceedings on the Direct Criminal Complaint of Akindele in the suit of kenechukwu Okeke against Adeyanju and 49 others in the suit number CR/49/2020”.
He further urged that if the order is made it should “restrain the defendants from taking any further steps, arresting and or taking unconstitutional/illegal steps in the form of any guise as it concerns the subject matter before this court as it concerns all parties in the proceedings as referred to as Direct Criminal Complaint of Magistrate Akindele.
Justice Kawu after reading through the motion exparte and the 15 paragraph affidavit of one Dino Ihuman as well as argument by Ihensekhien Samuel Jr, granted the orders as prayed and adjourned to February 25 for hearing of the main suit.
Among the defendants are; Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi; Musician Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy, David Adeleke otherwise known as Davido, Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz; and social media comedians, Debo Adebayo aka Mr Macaroni and Maryam Apaokagi aka Taoma
Other musicians sued include Peter and Paul Okoye, Innocent Idibia aka Tuface, Bankole Wellington popularly known as Banky W, Tiwa Savage, Michael Ajereh aka Don Jazzy; Ayo Balogun aka Wizkid; and Yemi Alade.
Apart from musicians, others listed as defendants include- Activist, Aisha Yesufu; ex-Super Eagles star, Kanu Nwankwo; a former Director-General, Bureau for Public Sector Reform, Dr. Joe Abah; journalist, Kiki Mordi, and actors, Yul Edochie and Uche Jombo
Social media influencers – Feyikemi Abudu, Olorunrinu Oduala, Pamilerin Adegoke, Japhet Omojuwa, Ayo Sogunro and Deji Adeyanju were also joined in the suit as well as activist, Tope Akinyode.