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#EndSARS: Court Orders Magistrate To Stop Case Against Pastor Adeyemi, Adeyanju, Davido, Others

A High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered a magistrates’ court in the capital city to stop proceedings and stay action in a criminal suit filed by a lawyer against 50 persons, including human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju and David Adeleke, better known as Davido, for “promoting” the #EndSARS protests.

The court also restrained the Nigeria Police Force from arresting or taking any action against the #EndSARS activists.

Kenechukwu Okeke had filed the criminal suit against the activists for their roles in the protests at Wuse Zone 6 Magistrates’ Court, Abuja before a Chief Magistrate II, Omolola Tolulope Akindele.

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; 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.

The court order followed a suit by Samuel Ihensekhien Junior on behalf of Adeyanju and 49 others.

The order reads, “An order of this Honourable court granting leave to the application to issue and serve on the defendant an application for judicial review against the proceedings/direct criminal complaint of Hon. Omolola Tolulope O. Akindele sitting at Chief Magistrate Court II, Wuse Zone 6 in the suit of Kenechukwu Okeke Vs Deji Adeyanju and 49 others in suit no. CR/49/2020.

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“An order of this Honourable court granting leave to the application to issue and serve on the defendant an application for an order of transfer of the entire proceedings, case file and the direct criminal complaint of Hon. Omolola Tolulope O. Akindele sitting at Chief Magistrate Court II, Wuse Zone 6 in the suit of Kenechukwu Okeke Vs Deji Adeyanju and 49 others in suit no. CR/49/2020.

“An order of this Honourable court, that on the grant of the above orders herein, serve as stay of all proceedings on the direct criminal compliant Omolola Tolulope O. Akindele sitting at Chief Magistrate Court II, Wuse Zone 6 in the suit of Kenechukwu Okeke Vs Deji Adeyanju and 49 others in suit no. CR/49/2020.

“An order of this honourable court, that on the grant of the above orders herein, same order as granted by the honourable court shall restrain the Nigeria Police Force, 2nd and 3rd defendants from taking any further steps, arresting and or taking any unconstitutional/illegal steps in the form of any guise as it concerns the subject matters whatsoever before this court herein as it concerns all parties in the proceedings as referred to as direct criminal complaint Omolola Tolulope O. Akindele sitting at Chief Magistrate Court II, Wuse Zone 6 in the suit of Kenechukwu Okeke Vs Deji Adeyanju and 49 others in suit no. CR/49/2020.”

Thousands of Nigerians under the #EndSARS campaign had in October 2020, taken to the streets to protest police brutality.

Several public figures and celebrities lent their voices to the protests which gained national and international attention.

Okeke, however, said the defendants used Twitter, a microblogging social media platform, to instigate “some riotous and tumultuous persons” who caused mayhem in the country.

He added that the actions of the defendants contravened Section 97 (2) of the Penal Code Act, C53 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2001.

“Having initiated criminal proceedings against the #EndSARS riots promoters at exactly 1052hrs WAT, 09/11/2020, we shall ensure that same is diligently prosecuted in the interest of defence, public safety and public order. The Federal Republic of Nigeria is country of laws,” he wrote on Twitter days after filing the suit.

Some of the #EndSARS promoters and participants have been hounded by law enforcement agencies.

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The Nigerian government has also frozen the bank accounts of some #EndSARS promoters

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