The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a non-governmental organisation, has urged Justice John Tsoho, acting Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, to ensure expeditious hearing of Omoyele Sowore’s application.
The organisation noted that the continued delay in the hearing of Sowore’s application raised serious issues about his right to a fair trial and access to justice, particularly the right to have his application heard expeditiously, fairly and impartially.
SERAP, in a letter dated August 29, 2019 and signed by its deputy director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation said: “Continuing delay in the hearing of Sowore’s application raises serious issues about his right to a fair trial and access to justice, particularly the right to have his application heard expeditiously, fairly and impartially.”
The organisation urged Justice Tsoho to show that “under your leadership of the Federal High Court, no one, not even those accused of an alleged serious offence, will be denied the right to simple justice and expeditious hearing”.
SERAP’s letter added: “We are concerned that while Sowore was arrested on August 2, 2019, by the SSS, his application before the court has yet to be heard. The Federal High Court should not be seen as forgetting justice and disregarding the wholesome restraints of the 1999 Nigerian Constitution (as amended).
“Justice is based on respect for the human rights of every individual. Continuing delay in the hearing Sowore’s application raises issues as to his right to an effective defence and to a fair trial before an independent, impartial judiciary – something, which is recognized as a fundamental right under the Nigerian Constitution and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party.”
The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja refused to grant the motion filed by Sowore, convener of #RevolutionNow protests, challenging his detention Department of State Services.
Justice Nkeonye Maya declined all applications by Sowore and sent the case back to Justice Taiwo Taiwo for further hearing.