Activists To Storm Court As Cyberstalking Trial Against HEDA Chairman, Suraju, Holds Monday
The Federal High Court in Abuja presided over by Justice Binta Nyako will on Monday hear cyberstalking charges preferred against Chairman of Human and Environmental Development Agenda, (HEDA Resource Centre), Olanrewaju Suraju, by the Nigerian Government.
A former Minister of Justice, Bello Adoke, one of those accused of and charged with fraud in the OPL245 scam, also referred to as the Malabu scandal had petitioned the police.
Adoke had accused those behind the petitions resulting in his prosecution for corruption and money laundering that they circulated fabricated evidence against him to unduly incriminate him in the multi-million dollar scandal.
SaharaReporters learnt on Sunday that the trial would hold Monday as human rights and anti-corruption activists prepare to storm the courts in solidarity with Suraju.
A notice titled, "Corruption Fighting Back- Comrade Lanre Suraju vs Adoke and the FGN" obtained on Sunday reads, "Dear friends and colleagues, this is to inform/invite you in solidarity in the case of cyberstalking against the Chair of HEDA Resource Centre, brought against him by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, hiding under a petition written by a former fugitive and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke.
"It was alleged that he (Suraj) forged a document used in Milan and London courts in the ongoing OPL 245 trials. Comrade Suraj will be arraigned at the Federal High Court, Abuja on Monday 24th of January, 2022. He will appear before Justice Binta Nyako by 10:00 am on Monday.
"This is to invite comrades and friends and all anti-corruption activists to come out in solidarity with him. Aluta continua, Victoria Ascerta."
The notice was signed by Eze Alloysius for the activists.
SaharaReporters had in November 2021 reported that the subject of Adoke’s petition was the forgery of an email in which Nigeria, as a sovereign state was short-changed to the tune of $1.1billion, and HEDA and its international partners, had been involved in the advocacy for recovery of this money and prosecution of principal actors behind the heist.
However, HEDA and Suraju denied any wrongdoing in a series of statements issued on the matter, stating that the items they were accused of fabricating featured as exhibits in the Malabu Oil scam trials in London, UK, and Milan, Italy.
The Nigerian Government, through the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation recently filed four counts in a suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/370/2021, accusing Suraju of using his social media handles as well as emails and audio interviews to circulate false information on Adoke.
But in a preliminary objection to the suit against him, Suraju, through his counsel, M.A. Banire & Associates led by Dr. Muiz Banire (SAN), sought the dismissal of the suit, stating that the court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the charge against him.
However, SaharaReporters gathered that Malami, Adoke, and the prosecutor team were not in court while the court authorities refused to inform Suraju and his legal team.
Suraju had been in court with his lawyer and Comrade Zikrillah Ibrahim of CHRICED, in solidarity.
He was, however, was left disappointed.
He had also complained of the cost of traveling only to find the court would not be sitting.
The court, after consultation with the counsel, had adjourned the matter till January 24, 2022.