Court rejects Sowore’s application to quash detention
The Federal High Court, Abuja has refused a plea by Femi Falana (SAN) to hear the application filed by the convener of #RevolutionNow protests, Omoyele Sowore, over his detention by the Federal Government.He had filed an application challenging the order detaining him for 45 days with effect from August 8.
The Department of State Services (DSS) had brought an ex parte application seeking Sowore’s detention for 90 days pending the conclusion of its investigation on the circumstances shrouding the call for revolution.But the vacation judge, Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in ruling, ordered that Sowore be detained for 45 days and thereafter adjourned till September 21 for commencement of trial.Dissatisfied with the judgment, Sowore, through his counsel, Falana, approached the court with an application seeking to quash the order.
The lawyer claimed that the court was misled by the secret police into granting the request.Although the court had fixed yesterday for hearing on the application, Justice Nkeonye Maha, however, rebuffed all moves to entertain the motion. The judge held that she lacked the power to vacate or review an order made by a court of equal jurisdiction.
“The court has given order, do I have the power to set aside (an) order of court of equal jurisdiction? the jurist queried.But Falana insisted that Justice Maha had the power to review an order of her colleague if it was not properly made. He therefore prayed the court to hear the matter.
“Even though the other party is asking for adjournment, the court has the power to abridge the date.“My Lordship will do justice to the matter, otherwise, the man will be there for 40 days, which is not in the interest of justice,” the senior advocate stated.
Nevertheless, the judge insisted that the court would not alter the development. “I am guided by law. Whether ex parte or not, it is an order of court. On what ground should I vacate the order?” she asked again.
Justice Maha held that since Justice Taiwo, who granted the order would be back soon, Falana should return to him or rather channel his application to the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court. In another move, the lawyer attempted to make an oral application for his client’s bail but the judge again declined, as she referred him back to Justice Taiwo’s adjourned date.
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