One Kenechukwu Okeke, a pro-government activist, has instituted legal proceedings before a Chief Magistrate’s court in Abuja against 50 persons for their alleged roles in the #EndSARS protests that took place in October.
Okeke, who alleged that his properties were destroyed during the riot, asked the court to bring defendants to justice.
Okeke, in the court document, listed defendants as Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz; social media comedians, Debo Adebayo aka Mr Macaroni, Maryam Akpaokagi aka Taoma Musician Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy, David Adeleke otherwise known as Davido, Innocent Idibia aka Tuface, Bankole Wellington popularly known as Banky W, Tiwa Savage, Michael Ajereh aka Don Jazzy, Yemi Alade and Peter and Paul Okoye.
Others in the list also include, Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, Pastor Sam Adeyemi; activist, Aisha Yesufu; ex-Super Eagles legend, Kanu Nwankwo; a former Director General, Bureau for Public Sector Reform, Dr. Joe Abah; journalist, Kiki Mordi, and actors, Yul Edochie and Uche Jombo.
Also joined in the suit are social media influencers – Feyikemi Abudu, Olorunrinu Oduala, Pamilerin Adegoke, Japhet Omojuwa, Ayo Sogunro and Deji Adeyanju.
Mr Okeke claimed that between the October 28 and October 30, 2020 the defendants, via their twitter accounts, conspire amongst themselves to “commit misdemeanor, to wit promoting or acting in such a manner with intent to assist in the promotion of an unlawful assembly under the guise or composition of “#EndSARS”.
This according to him is an offence punishable under Section 97 (2) of the Penal Code Act, C53 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
The charges read in part, “That the 1st to 50th accused persons between the 3rd day of October 2020 and the 28th day of October 2020, using Twitter, an Internet web source with URL https://www.twitter.com within the jurisdiction of this honourable court did conspire amongst themselves to commit misdemeanour, to wit, promoting and acting in such a manner, with intent to assist in the promotion of #EndSARS and thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 97(2) of the Penal Code Act, C53 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“That the 1st to 50th accused persons with intent to carry out some common purpose, assemble in such a manner or being assembled under the composition of #EndSARS as to cause persons in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, to fear on reasonable grounds that such assembly needlessly and without any reasonable occasion may provoke other persons tumultuously to disturb the peace.
“Properties belonging to the complaint were egregiously destroyed by some riotous and tumultuous persons instigated and incited by the 1st to 50th accused persons.”
Recall that some young Nigerians had protested against police brutality and the misdemeanours of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) which attracted attention from across the globe.
Several peaceful demonstrations were held in major cities in the country to show the displeasure of the youths.
While the federal government has promised to implement the demands of the protesters, weeks after, it launched a clampdown against promoters of the protest.
We have reported through this medium how international passports of some persons were withheld, some persons’ bank accounts frozen and scores arrested. These moves have been largely condemned by rights activists and members of the international community.
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