An acclaimed human rights activist sponsored by the Nigerian Government, Kenechukwu Okeke, has sued 50 Nigerian celebrities including musicians David Adeleke widely known as Davido, Tiwa Savage, Folarin Falana known more popularly as Falz and Aisha Yesufu for allegedly promoting the #EndSARS protest that swept across the country in October.
Kenechukwu, who filed a motion on notice at the Federal Capital Territory Magistrate Court, Abuja, alleged that the involvement of the celebrities in the protest led to violence across the country, which resulted in the destruction of properties and loss of lives.
The motion on notice was brought pursuance to Sections 88, 109 (a), 110 (1) (c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015.
“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,” it read partly.
Having initiated criminal proceedings against the #EndSARS riots promoters at exactly 1052hrs WAT, 09/11/2020, we shall ensure that same is diligently prosecuted in the interest of defence, public safety and public order.
Others listed as defendants include Damini Ogulu known as Burna Boy, Peter and Paul Okoye, Innocent ‘2Baba’ Idibia, Bankole Wellington, Michael Ajereh known as Don Jazzy and Debo Adebayo fondly known as Mr Macaroni.
The list also includes Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, Sam Adeyemi, former Super Eagles captain, Kanu Nwankwo; activist Deji Adeyanju, Yul Edochie and Uche Jombo.
A wave of street protests swept across Nigeria in October as young people poured out to demand an end to police brutality and bad governance in the country.
In a bid to break the peaceful demonstrations, the government sent in armed thugs and security operatives, who unleashed terror on the people.
The climax came on October 20 when the Lagos State Government drafted in soldiers of the Nigerian Army to attack demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Gate area of the state.
According to Amnesty International, over 10 persons lost their lives following the attack by the soldiers.
A Judicial Panel of Inquiry has been established by the Lagos Government to unravel the incident of October 20 and brutality by personnel of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.