Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana, SAN, on Thursday, prayed the Federal High Court, Abuja, to give him a date for hearing in his application regarding Mr Omoyele Sowore’s, Convener, #RevolutionNow protests detention.
Sowore. who is presently in detention had, on Aug 9, approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, seeking an order to vacate the ex parte order that gave the Department of State Service (DSS) the legal backing to detain him for 45 days.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in a ruling on Aug. 8 in an exparte application, ordered Sowore’s detention for the said period to enable the DSS carry out and conclude its investigation on allegations levied against him.
The DSS had also, on Tuesday, challenged the court order, allowing it to detain Sowore for 45 days against its request of 90 days pending investigation.
Sowore, who is the publisher of SaharaReporters and Presidential Candidate, African Action Congress (AAC) in the Feb. 2019 general elections, was arrested in the early hours of Aug. 4 by the operatives of the DSS in a hotel in Lagos.
He was moved to Abuja on Aug. 4.
The state agency said Sowore was arrested on account of the #RevolutionNow protest which he had spearheaded.
However, in a motion on notice, brought pursuant to sections 6 (6) (B), 35 and 36(4) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, section 293 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 and under the jurisdiction of the court, Sowore asked the court to vacate the order on the grounds that the order was made in violation of his full rights.
The motion filed on Aug. 9 by Falana, was predicated on 18 grounds and supported by a 24 paragraphs affidavit deposed to by one Marshall Abubakar.
However, Falana, who arrived at Court 10 during the court session at about 1. 05 p.m. on Thursday, walked to the back seat.
He was not in his lawyer’s attire.
No sooner had he sat down than Justice Taiwo called his name: “Mr Falana, any thing? You are not in your robe.”
The human rights lawyer stood up, walked to the aile, bowed his head and said: “My Lord, I am here in respect of the motion we filed last Friday (Aug. 9).”
The judge said: “I saw it and the reason I have not done anything is that I am ending my own vacation sitting tomorrow (Friday).
“Have you served them (the DSS)?”
“We served them since last week,” Falana, who was visibly unhappy, responded.
He, however, asked if the judge could hear the motion the next day (Friday).
Justice Taiwo, who appealed to Falana to exercise patience to decide on the case he was said:, suggested they meet in his chamber to discuss on fixing the date for the hearing.
And as soon as the judge was done with the case, he rose and Falana joined him in the office.
After few minutes, Falana came out and the newsmen approached him.
Although he declined to grant an interview, the lawyer: “We filed our motion since last week and it had not been heard but the DSS filed its own and within 48 hours, it was heard.”
He, however, told the journalists that their motion on notice would be heard next week by another judge.
“Another judge will take over on Monday and we will get the date from the judge,” he said.
JUST IN: Boko Haram Strikes In Chibok, Sets ‘Many Houses’ On Fire
Suspected Boko Haram terrorists are currently attacking Korongilum, a community in Chibok local government area of Borno State.
A resident told the TheCable that the insurgents came into the community around 6pm, shooting sporadically and setting many houses on fire.
“People were just returning to their houses from the farm when the insurgents came in,” the resident said.
“They came in through Forfor, and our people are running for safety as we speak.”
A military source said troops from the Nigerian Army’s 28 task force brigade and 117 battalion, both headquartered in Chibok, are already on their way to Korongilum.
“In fact, the brigade and the battalion commanders are the ones leading soldiers to the attack,” the source said.
TheCable’s effort to reach Sagir Musa, army’s spokesman, for comment on the attack proved abortive as his telephone line was out of reach.
We’ll Lift Visa Ban On Nigeria If… — US
The United States has declared that the visa ban placed on Nigeria and other countries was a temporary measure.
The US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Leonard, said the visa ban could be resolved between the two countries if the Nigerian government meets certain conditions.
The US ambassador said that Nigeria needed to meet information sharing goals before the decision would be reversed by the US government.
She said this during a visit to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige in Abuja on Tuesday.
The ambassador said the ban was based on US concerns over needs for information sharing and not about character definition.
Leonard said that students visa were not included in the ban.
The ambassador said the immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States.
She also said the ban does not cancel the status of anyone who is currently in the United States.
The US ambassador said: “I need to clarify something for you here, the immigrant visa ban does not affect people who are currently resident in the United States.
“It does not cancel the status of anyone who currently is in the United States.
“What Secretary Pompey said was something that was meant to be temporary.
“And it is about problems with information sharing which are investigable, achievable and resolveable and we look forward to Nigeria in a very short time being able to meet those information sharing goal so that the decision can be reviewed.”
The US ambassador noted that Nigeria was blessed with the ingenuity to diversify its economy, noting that the industrious endowment of many Nigerians home and abroad.
According to her, these were ingredient that should be employed to tackle unemployment.
“I think for Nigeria, you have an interesting story about diversification of your economy and prosperity of your economy and it is people.
“You know Nigerians are so well known at home and abroad for their industriousness.
“You know you hear about how much of the activity in the informal sector. So I wonder how you think about capturing that entrepreneurial spirit and to bringing it into the formal sector in service and to enhance employment,” she added.
Ngige said the inclusion of Nigeria in the list of countries under the US travel ban was a shock to the country.
The minister described the ban as unwarranted because of the contribution of Nigerian professionals to the US economy.
The Minister said: “Some of these Nigerians are medical doctors, engineers and people with high level of proficiency in oil and gas fields.
“They were all part of the Nigerian residents in the US and it came to us as a rude shock when the US government banned Nigerians and put us in the list of those countries whose residency status have been cancelled.”
Ngige urged the US ambassador to discuss the visa ban issue with her home government in order to reach an understanding and have it reversed.
The Minister told the US ambassador that more than 70 per cent of Nigerians living in the US were highly skilled professionals who contributed billions of dollars yearly to US economy while sending equally impressive amount to Nigeria.
He used the opportunity of the visit to seek for collaboration and assistance of the US in the area of poverty eradication and child labour. He said Nigeria would not demand for money from the US but other forms of assistance.
“We have called on the US Department of Labour to assist and we have given them a list of what we need.
“We are not asking for monetary assistance and we are not asking for American cash but we need technical assistance and logistics like vehicles for those in the inspectorate division to be able to carry out their functions.
“We call on US to help us build schools in those areas where child labour is endemic. You also help in setting up clinics and executing its own empowerment programmes in those localities,” the minister added.
JUST IN: IGP Seeks Algeria’s Support To Combat Terrorism, Insurgency
Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, has appealed for Algeria’s support to combat insurgency and terrorism in the country.
Adamu made the appeal when he received a delegation of the African Police Organization (AFRIPOL) General Assembly led by its President and Inspector General of Police of Algeria, H. E. Khelifa Ounissi, at the Force Headquarters in Abuja.
More to follow…