Human rights’ activist, Omoyele Sowore, has described the Nigeria Police Force personnel in the trial of Solomon Akuma, a young pharmacist being detained over a Twitter banter on President Muhamamdi Buhari, as illiterates.

In a Facebook post on Monday, Sowore said the police personnel were a mess following the drama that ensued during the court proceeding of the young pharmacist who was detained over joke on Twitter.

According to Sowore, the police lawyer, who appeared in court lacked knowledge of legal matters; secondly, the police filed their address out of time and forgot to seek permission from the court.

He added that the police also violated all the procedures for filing a case.

Sowore added that Akuma's family had also suffered a huge setback courtesy of the detention of their son.

He said, “At the Federal High Court in Abuja today to attend the farcical trial of Solomon Akuma, a young pharmacist from Abia State arrested and detained since April 2020 at the behest of President Muhammadu Buhari and his late Chief of Staff, Abba Kyari.

“Nigeria Police Force prosecutors claimed Akuma intended to hire Russian Snipers to “kill” Buhari and Abba Kyari because of Twitter banter where he answered to a joke sometime in 2019.

“In court today, where the written addresses of the prosecution and defence were adopted, it was established that the Nigeria Police Force has consistently existed only to please those in power. It was a joke and a mess.

”First, the Police lawyer did not know that only the Attorney General of the Federation can initiate and prosecute Terror suspect as espoused in the “Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011” specifically its section 19 of the amendment of the Act in 2019.

“Secondly, they filed their address out of time and forgot to seek the permission of the court.

“Third, they did not disclose the location where the offence was committed or the ingredients of the crime as requested by law. Fourthly, the Nigeria Police Force, in the eyes of the law violated all the procedures for filing a case (as typical they never followed any procedures known to law.) In a nutshell, they did not properly file any charges nor disclose any course of infractions before Justice Giwa Badejo who was had been transferred to Enugu but was granted a fiat to return and conclude this inhuman case.

“Their citations were in shambles, Police lawyer didn’t know how to cite the NWLR (Nigeria Law Weekly Reports); he called it “NORL” and when the judge asked what he meant, he said he did not know until he sent a WhatsApp message right there in court and got a reply presumably from his superiors. It was embarrassing. 

“But what’s more severely damaging was that a system allowed these functional illiterates to ruin the life and career of a promising Pharmacist at a time the country is dearly in need of medical professionals.

“Also ruined is his family’s life. His father has spent all his savings on this case and fallen ill, he’s down with stroke and today he could not attend the trial, Solomon’s sister has been hospitalised for a week now, chronically ill.

“The Buhari regime is so evil towards Nigerian citizens in every corner either by outright wickedness or deliberate negligence. Lives are being destroyed by the Muhammadu Buhari regime on a minute by minute basis.”

Akuma, 29, was arrested on April 2, 2020, in Aba, Abia State for allegedly making a social media post against the President and his late Chief of Staff, Kyari.

Akuma had spent three months in detention without a court order or trial until he was eventually arraigned for charges bordering on terrorism, sedition, criminal intimidation of the President and threat to the life of Buhari. See Also Human Rights 'Pharmacist, Akuma Detained For One Year Because Of Threat To Assassinate Buhari' —Presidential Aide Justifies Detention

He had been languishing at the Force Criminal Investigation Department before the police lawyer, Victor Ogbudo, filed an application seeking the permission of the court to transfer the young man from the police custody to the correctional centre.

The prosecution counsel claimed that the defendant was flouting the order of the police and that they could not cope with his behaviour in their custody any longer.

The presiding judge, Justice Folashade Giwa-Ogunbajo, later in her ruling dismissed the bail application filed by his lawyer, Emmanuel Ukaegbu and ordered Akuma to be transferred and remanded at the correctional centre.

Activists, lawyers and civil society groups have condemned Akuma's continued detention and called for his release, saying he did not commit any crime to warrant such a punishment.

 

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