The Chief Magistrate Court sitting in Abuja would be expecting no fewer than 50 Nigerians, including David Adeleke, popularly known as Davido, popular footballer, Kanu Nwankwo and activist Aisha Yesufu among other celebrities not as visitor but accused suspect linked as alleged promoters of protest against police brutality code-named EndSARS to clarify doubting concerns raised against the agitations which led to arson, killings and destruction of property in Lagos State, Federal Capital Territory and other part of the country.
The court, which was yet to establish charges against the listed celebrities and important personalities, wrote to the 50 identified Nigerian letter of invitation directing the listed people to appear before the law court.
From the list released by the court, the musicians sued by an activist, Kenechukwu Okeke, who filed a criminal complaint against them before the court include Peter and Paul Okoye, Yemi Alade, Tiwa Savage, Michael Ajereh aka Don Jazzy, Innocent Idibia aka Tuface, Bankole Wellington popularly known as Banky W, Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy, Folarin Falana popularly known as Falz; and social media comedians, Debo Adebayo aka Mr Macaroni, and Maryam Akpaokagi aka Taoma.
Others apart from musicians listed as defendants include Senior Pastor, Daystar Christian Centre, Pastor Sam Adeyemi; a former Director-General, Bureau for Public Sector Reform, Dr Joe Abah; journalist, Kiki Mordi, and actors, Yul Edochie and Uche Jombo.
Also, Feyikemi Abudu, Olorunrinu Oduala, Pamilerin Adegoke, Japhet Omojuwa, Ayo Sogunro and Deji Adeyanju, among others were social media influencers joined in the suit.
Okeke said that the instituted case which was pursuant to sections 88, 109(a), 110(1)(c) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, was to ensure that the accused persons pay for their alleged roles in the protest that snowballed into violence and destruction.
“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 misdemeanor, 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,” Okeke’s supporting affidavit said.
Earlier, the celebrities had indicated that they were allegedly being monitored and targeted, a development they claimed was clear witch-hunt on part of government in the country.
They had also raised concerns that the federal government was trying to silence them by freezing bank accounts belonging to them while another promoter, Modupe Odele, had her passport seized while trying to travel to the Maldives through the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos, nine days ago.
However, the criminal charges against the EndSARS activist was coming barely 24-hours after Odele’s travelling document restored to her.