Judge declines Sowore’s request to hear motion challenging detention


A judge of the Federal High Court in Abuja, Justice Evelyn Maha has declined the request by detained convener of , to hear his motion challenging his continued detention by the Department of State (DSS).

Another judge of the court, Justice Taiwo Taiwo had, on August 8, 2019 granted the DSS the permission to detain Sowore for 45 days in the first instance, following the security agency’s claim that he was involved in acts of terrorism and ad plotted to topple the government, allegation e ad since denied.

Rather than wait for the expiration of the 45 days granted the DSS, Sowore returned to the court, via a motion filed on August 9, 2019, demanding, among others, that the court vacates the order for is deletion, made ex-parte.

On Wednesday, when the case came up before Justice Maha, now sitting as the court’s vacation judge (after Taiwo concluded his vacation siting last week), the judge said she lacked the jurisdiction to hear the motion filed by Sowore.

Justice Maha said she lacked the powers to review the decision made by his colleague, noting that doing so will amount to sitting on an appeal over a decision passed by a court of coordinate jurisdiction.

The judge also rejected an oral application for bail, made later by Sowore’s lead lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN). She said earlier issued her ruling before Falana’s oral application, she was functus officio (could no longer deal with the issue).

Justice Maha asked parties to return to the court that earlier granted the detention order.

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