There have been angry protests at the Magistrates’ Court sitting in Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, after the Nigerian government failed to produce human rights' activist, Omoyele Sowore, and his four colleagues, for the final hearing of their bail application as ruled by the magistrate.
The magistrate had on Tuesday reserved its ruling on the bail application filed by the human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, and four others till today, Friday, January 8.
However, between Tuesday and today, the President Muhammadu Buhari regime, the Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, and the police again displayed their disregard for the rule of law by transferring the case elsewhere, and failing to produce the activists against the court's directive.
Sowore's defence counsel from Falana & Falana Chambers, Marshal Abubakar, explained to newsmen on Friday that the AGF had asked for the case file and the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police in charge of the case had also been asked to forward it to the Deputy Inspector General of Police.
The lawyer explained, "The case file has been transferred. The court sitting today was set for 11am. We got to the court as early as possible in anticipation for the bail application for the Sowore and others. He had been arrested and detained by the police since the first day of 2021.
"Unfortunately, the police and the authorities have yet to bring Sowore and others to court; they were ordered by the court to be detained at the FCID, Abuja. The case is between the commissioner of police and the defendant. This morning, we were informed that the case file had been transferred to the FCID, Area 10, Abuja.
"Now there was also a signal from the office of the AGF, requesting that the case file be transferred.
"The ruling on the bail application was slated for today. We'd requested that Sowore and others be remanded in FCID for obvious reasons. While they were at Kuje Correctional Centre, the condition, under which they were detained were not acceptable to us.
"This morning, we expected that Sowore and others would be brought to court. This morning, we were informed and showed copies of documents from the office of the DIG requesting for the case file from the CP.
"This morning, they also brought another signal from the office of the AGF mandating the Directorate of Public Prosecutions to take over the case from the police."
FLASH: Nigeria's Attorney General, @MalamiSAN Secretly Takes Over @YeleSowore's Court Hearing As Revenge Against Reports By SaharaReporters Exposing Series Of Corruption Activities By His Family#FreeSoworeNow— Sahara Reporters (@SaharaReporters) January 8, 2021
The presiding Magistrate, Segun-Bello, had ordered on Tuesday that the activists should be moved from the Kuje Correctional Centre to the Force Criminal Investigation Department located at Area 10 in Abuja.
The judge had said it was at the instance of the complaints of lack of access to medical treatment, food, water, and clothing by the defendants at the correctional centre where they were being kept.
Sowore, while reporting back to the court on the inhuman treatment at Kuje prison, had asked the magistrate to remand them where they would have access to medical treatment and food.
The court also asked the police to allow the 3rd defendant, Damilare Adenola, access to Internet facility and books to enable him prepare for an examination.
While arguing on the bail application, the police counsel, Adamu Musa, raised the issue of technicality on whether several defendants facing the same charge can file joint affidavits for a bail application.
The recent development, according to the defence counsel, Marshal, is a plot by the Buhari regime to delay substantive justice and keep the activists further in detention.