A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on Wednesday adjourned for judgment in the two cases filed by Omoyele Sowore, in Omoyele Sowore v. NPF & 3 Ors, to challenge his coordinated attack, arrest and illegal shooting at various times by the agents of the Nigeria Police.
Counsels to the police in both cases were absent and counsel to the Attorney-General of the Federation absent too in one of the cases, but with their counter affidavits in court, Tope Temokun, counsel to Omoyele Sowore, urged the court to invoke ORDER XII RULE 3 of Fundamental Rights Enforcement Procedure Rules, to adopt their written addresses in their absence This application was granted.
While moving the substantive applications, Temokun urged the court to grant the prayers of the applicant, Omoyele Sowore, by declaring his arrest in the Federal High Court Abuja on the 26th of July, 2021 and his shooting on the 31st of May 2021 at Unity Fountain Abuja during a peaceful rally, illegal and unconstitutional.
Cases adjourned to July 5, 2023 for judgment. The Court ordered Hearing notices to be served on the Inspector General of Police ( IGP ), Alkali Baba Usman, Attorney General of Federation, Abubakar Malam and CSP Altine Hyelhira Daniel over coordinated attacks and shooting of a human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore.
Sowore was assaulted and subsequently
arrested by a team of armed policemen on July 26, 2021 led by Abdullahi Abubakar Hassan, the Divisional Police Officer Federal Secretariat Abuja during the trial of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the lproscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).
The activist was to attend the court proceedings of the five young activists who were arrested by Department of State Services ( DSS) for wearing T-shirts with inscription ‘ BuhariMustGo’ at Dunamis International Gospel Center located along airport road Abuja.
The activist through his lawyer, Tope Temokun in separate fundamental rights
enforcement suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1238/2021 and FHC/ABJ/CS/1239/2021, is seeking an order of the court directing the respondents to jointly pay him (applicant) the sum of ₦50,000,000.00 (Fifty million naira) as general and exemplary damages for the violation of his fundamental rights.
Temokun while adopting his brief urged the court to grant the five reliefs sought by his client just as he insisted that the detention of his client was a gross violation of his rights to freedom and personal liberty as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
In the same vein, the activist who is also challenging how he was shot with a teargas canister at a close range with a projectile gun
while attending a protest to demand an end to insecurity in the country at unity fountain by one CSP Altine , a notorious female police officer.
Upon being on the ground with a deep injury on his thigh the female officer instructed her men to fire more teargas toward Sowore with the aim to prevent people from saving him.
But he was eventually rushed to hospital for treatments.
Among the reliefs sought in the suit includes the following ;
An order of the court directing the respondents, to pay jointly and severally to the Applicant, the sum of ₦50,000,000.00 (Fifty Million Naira), only, as general and exemplary damages for the violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights.
An order of the court, mandating the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents to issue an apology to the applicant, to be published in two reputable national daily newspapers for the violation of the applicant’s fundamental rights as afore-stated and many others.
The judge therefore adjourned the case to July 5 2023 for judgment.
Sowore said he would not give up in challenging any act of impunity and human rights violation by the security agencies under the Buhari administration.
He said the DPO did not only attack him physically but also arranged and connived with hoodlums and thugs to attack him.