Court Adjourns Trial Of #EndSARS Protester, Eromosele Due To COVID-19 Protocols
Adene is accused of criminal incitement, cyberstalking, provoking breach of public peace, and conduct likely to cause the breach of peace due to his involvement in nationwide protests against police brutality in October 2020.
The 27-year-old was forcefully arrested from his Lagos home by on November 7, 2020 ahead of a planned protest in the state.
He was transferred from Lagos State to Abuja for interrogation before he was returned to Lagos on Sunday night to be arraigned at the Yaba Magistrate Court.
When the defendant appeared in court for the commencement of his trial on Monday, January 11, 2021, his case was adjourned till February 15 due to restrictions on court’s operations, PulseNG reports.
Adene’s counsel, Adesina Ogunlana, stated that the court registrar explained that the second wave of COVID-19 in Nigeria compelled the court to only entertain cases that are urgent or crucial.
Our own case is not considered urgent or crucial. They’re citing COVID-19 directive of the government for safety, because the courtroom is another area where there could be a large population of people.
The defendant’s counsel expressed his dissatisfaction with the court’s decision, noting that the government could have enforced the restriction more efficiently.
He said he felt shortchanged by the turn of events because his team had prepared well for the commencement of the trial on Monday.
Describing the restriction as unfair on his client, Ogunlana said the court’s sitting could have been regulated better, instead of unnecessarily prolonging cases not deemed urgent or crucial.
In addition, the lawyer noted that there are rumours the government plans to further harass his client, but he failed to go into specifics.
I’m not going to be alarmist, but I can’t close my eyes and ears to what we hear. If there’s any suggestion of my client being harassed emotionally and psychologically, we’ll not allow that.
Eromosele’s case has garnered public attention as many believe it is a case of persecution from the government cracking down on some of the most visible figures from last year’s historic demonstrations against police brutality.