Falana drags Chief Judge to Court

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Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), has filed a suit against the Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Abdul Kafarati, for allegedly failing to appoint justices to conduct a monthly inspection of detention facilities of anti-graft agencies.

In the suit with number FHC/ /CS/764/19, copies of which were made available to journalists on Sunday, Falana said he wrote a letter dated September 7, 2018, to Mr Kafarati, urging him to comply with the statutory obligation of designating judges to visit detention centres with the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court.

He added that on June 29, 2019, he wrote a reminder to the Justice Kafarati advising him to comply with the said statutory obligation.

The senior advocate said he wrote a similar correspondence to the Chief Justice of the Federation, the Chief Justice of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and the Chief Justice of Lagos, urging them all to comply with similar statutory provisions. He said, unlike Kafarati, they have since appointed the visiting judges.

Falana said in spite of the several cases of arbitrary detention at the various detention centres, Kafarati has not complied with the statutory provision.

The suit reads in part, “The plaintiff is, therefore, seeking the courts’ declaration that the failure of the defendant to designate justices to conduct the monthly inspection in the detention centres of the Department of the State Security Services (SSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other detention centres of all federal government agencies in compliance with section 34(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015 is wrong and unlawful.

“A declaration that by the express provisions of section 34(4) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, 2015, the defendant is under a legal obligation to designate justices to conduct the monthly inspection in the detention centres of the Department of the State Security Services (DSS), Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and other detention centres of all Federal Government agencies.”

Falana further sought a mandatory order of the court compelling the defendant to designate justices to conduct the monthly inspection in the detention centres of the SSS, EFCC and others.

Meanwhile, the suit is yet to be assigned to a judge.

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