A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has adjourned hearing on the enforcement of fundamental rights suit of activists, Omoyele Sowore and Olawale Bakare, to September 25, 2020 for hearing.
The activists had filed a N1bn suit against the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, as general and aggravated damages for the “illegal violation of their fundamental rights” to life, dignity of their person, fair hearing, health, freedom of movement and freedom of association.
But upon arrival at the court on Friday, the officials told the lawyer to the activists, Abubakar Marshal, that the judge would not be able to hear the case despite the fact that it was listed among matters to be heard for the day.
Recall that the appeal filed by the activists challenging their bail conditions is still pending before the Appeal Court following the refusal of the court to hear the case on Wednesday.
Also, the trial judge, Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu, had refused to fix a date for the continuation of the trial since the COVID-19 lockdown stalled the matter.
Sowore was arrested in the early hours of August 3, 2019 by operatives of the Department of State Services for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations on August 5 to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari.
He was kept in unlawful detention from that period until December 5, 2019 when he was finally released on bail despite two court orders earlier sanctioning his freedom.
In a twist of event, DSS operatives invaded the Federal High Court in Abuja on December 6, 2019 to rearrest him without any court order.
He remained in unlawful detention until 18 days later when he was released by the secret police for the second time.
At the resumption of his trial in a case brought against him by the Nigerian Government, the prosecution failed to prove accusations against him and even went ahead to dropping seven of the charges earlier preferred against him.
Groups and high-raking individuals from around the world have described the charges against Sowore as baseless and a waste of time.
The journalist remains confined to Abuja as one of his bail conditions forbids him from leaving the city or speaking with journalists until the end of his trial.
The Nigerian Government has continued to adopt various strategies to keep the activist out of circulation including a plot to now rearrest him for no reason.