Aformer Vice President of the Nigeria Bar Association, Monday Ubani, has condemned the long detention of pro-democracy campaigner and Convener of RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore, through an ex-parte court order.
Ubani told SaharaReportersthat it is worrisome that the judiciary was being used to perpetuate the unlawful detention of citizens by the Nigerian Government.
Ubani was reacting to the ruling of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which ordered the Department of State Services to immediately release Sowore, who they arrested in Lagos on August 3, 2019 for calling on Nigerians to express their anger at the poor state of governance in the country.
The DSS had secured an ex-parte order granted by the Federal High Court to keep Sowore for a period of 45 days to allow it investigate him of possible involvement in acts of terrorism.
Ubani however, said that Nigerians must condemn the use of the judiciary by the government to carry out illegality.
He said, “Using ex-parte order to elongate citizen’s detention is something we must condemn.
“Secondly, using the judiciary to achieve this aim is something all of us must rise up to speak against it.
“It is wrong that detention orders are gotten ex-parte, it is worse that it is not served on the defendant.”
Speaking further, the respected lawyer said that it is alien to the Nigerian constitution for the government to charge citizens for criticising it.
He added, “If you feel your character has been assassinated by the speech or writing of that citizen, what you do is to seek redress in a civil court and that is in case of libel and not to charge them for sedition.”