The Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal has adjourned the appeal of Human Rights Activist Omoyele Sowore’s as his Counsel Femi Falana (SAN) was unable to show that he had the leave of the Court to appeal out of time.
Blueprint reports that the Court had fixed January 19, 2022, for the hearing of appeal filed by Omoyele Sowore, through his lawyer Femi Falana (SAN).
In the appeal, Sowore is challenging the ruling of the Federal High Court in Abuja, which had restricted him in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, since August 2019.
But a three-man panel of the Court of Appeal Justices, led by the Presiding Justice Hon. Justice H.S. Tsammani, however, adjourned the appeal to the 31st of January, 2022 for hearing.
Sowore it would be recall was arrested by the operatives of the Department of State Services (DSS) and prosecuted on charges bordering on treasonable felony for calling for a revolution protest tagged ‘Revolution Now’ in August 2019.
At the resumed hearing, the Counsel to the Respondent (Federal Republic of Nigeria), Bagudu Usman Sani; Esq a Snr S. C, at the Federal Ministry of Justice who filed their brief of argument out of time, filed a motion to regularize the Respondent’s brief of arguments and sought for an adjournment to enable them move their Application.
In his objection, Counsel to Sowore the Appellant/Applicant, Femi Falana (SAN), said due to the refusal of the Respondent to file their brief of arguments, a motion seeking the leave of the Court to permit the Appellant to travel to the United States to visit his family was filed.
He further told the Court that at the last adjournment date which was the 17th of January, 2021, the Respondent was not in Court. Consequently, the Court thus reviewed the processes which lead to the Appeal instead of pursuing an interlocutory Application.
Falana in his argument noted that a hearing notice was duly served on the Respondent, saying that he called the Counsel twice to remind him of the case but he did not return his calls. He then appealed to the Court to hear his clients Appeal since the Respondent’s Brief has been filed.
However, in order to give an accelerated hearing, the three-man panel consisting of Hon. Justice H. S. Tsammani, Hon. Justice B. A. Georgewill and Hon. Justice B. I. Gafai went ahead and stood down the Appeal for 30 minutes so that the Respondent brief and the motion could be brought before the Court for hearing.
Falana told the Court that the Notice of Appeal was filed on the 9th of July, 2012 with the leave of the Court granted on the 5th of July, 2021.
But after checking the records of appeal, the order was not found in the Court’s record.Falana then insisted that they had the leave of the Court, but could not provide any evidence when he was asked to show a proof of the order.
The hearing of the appeal was therefore thwarted when leave of the Court to appeal out of time was not provided.
The matter has since been adjourned to 31st of January, 2022 for hearing and for the appellant to produce the order of court granting him leave to appeal out of time.