The Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Hon. Justice J. T. Tsoho, has approved the posting of judges for the court.
The redeployment was contained in a circular dated March 16, titled, “List of Federal High Court Judges, their previous divisions and their present posting.”
Over 70 justices were listed including two judges – Justice Okon Abang and Justice Chukwu Ijeoma – handling the cases of human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore.
The circular directed “all judges newly appointed to judicial divisions to assume their duties on the 12th day of April, 2021, while also asking judges to take inventory of all properties of the court.”
Justice Ijeoma formerly of the Federal High Court in Abuja was hearing the suit filed by Sowore, the Convener of #RevolutionNow, and his co-defendant, Olawale Bakare, against the Department of State Services and the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami over alleged unlawful detention.
In separate fundamental rights enforcement suits filed before the court, the duo maintained that they were entitled to general and aggravated damages of N500 million each as a result of violations of their rights to personal liberty, dignity of person, fair hearing, family life, freedom of association and freedom of movement.
The suits marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1407/2019, and FHC/ABJ/CS/1428/2019, were filed on November 15 and 20, 2019 respectively.
Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu had, on November 6, 2019, ordered the release of the duo from the DSS custody but they were rearrested after meeting the bail conditions.
Apart from Sowore, Justice Abang is also on the trial of the former Chairman of the defunct Pension Reform Task Team, Mr Abdulrasheed Maina.
Maina is standing trial for 12 counts bordering on money laundering in a suit filed by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, preferred against him and his firm, Common Input Property and Investment Limited, before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
Abang was the one who, on the strength of Maina’s application, last week summoned the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, the erstwhile Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Mr Ibrahim Magu and the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, Mr Godwin Emiefele, to appear as witnesses.
He also compelled human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, who was the witness that appeared in court last week.