Reliable information obtained by SaharaReporters have shown that Nigeria’s Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), is trying to pervert justice by pressuring the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja not to assign the case of pro-democracy campaigner and journalist, Omoyele Sowore, to a vacation judge.
Multiple sources in the court have revealed that Malami’s meeting with the CJ, Justice John Tsoho, was to pressure him not to assign Sowore’s case until 2020.
“Contrary to public belief, the AGF has not fired Hassan Liman (SAN), lead lawyer for the prosecution, and is relying on his advice for delay tactics,” a source told SaharaReporters.
Malami had earlier said in a statement that the CJ had adjourned the case to January 23, 2020 and not December 23 as contained in the official court document.
He further said that the CJ had promised to inform the counsel of the defendants of the new date.
Recall that on December 17, the Federal High Court, Abuja, ordered Malami and Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi, to appear before it on December 23, 2019 over the rearrest and unlawful detention of Sowore.
Justice I.E Ekwo gave the order on Tuesday following a bench ruling ordering Malami and Bichi to appear before the court on the set date.
Ekwo said though he would be proceeding on vacation, another judge would continue with the case.
However, with the latest development, Malami, who last week directed the DSS to hands off Sowore’s case and claimed that he cannot order the release of the journalist from detention, appears to be relying on the pressure on Tsoho to further keep him out of circulation unlawfully.
Before now, the Nigerian Government had sent emissaries to Sowore in detention in a bid to strike a deal with him and have him stop criticising President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime but he turned down the offer.
Embarrassed by the situation, the government vowed to take its pound of flesh on the journalist.
Several unlawful acts including an invasion of the Federal High Court, Abuja, by armed DSS operatives have taken place since that period.
Despite being widely condemned from around the world, President Buhari and senior figures in his regime have refused to comment on the issue, instead justifying the illegality with several illogical statements by Presidency spokespersons.
Sowore was rearrested on December 6 by the DSS at the Federal High Court, Abuja, barely 24-hours after he was released on bail.
This was after he had spent 125 days in detention for calling on Nigerians to take to the streets in peaceful demonstrations to demand a better country from the administration of President Buhari.
The Nigerian Government is accusing him of insulting Buhari and planning to bring down his regime.
Despite being rearrested and thrown in unlawful detention for two weeks now, the 48-year-old journalist is yet to be told the reason for his rearrest and continued incarceration after two court orders directing his freedom on bail.