Suspected thugs stormed a Kwara state high court on Wednesday while the libel suit which Senate President Bukola Saraki filed against Sahara Reporters was being heard.
Saraki had accused Sahara Reporters of defamation.
After the senate president filed the suit, the court awarded him N4 billion and ordered that two accounts domiciled in UBA and GTB linked to Owoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters, be frozen.
But Sowore, who accused Saraki of “fraudulently procuring” the order, asked the court to vacate judgement.
At the hearing of the case on Wednesday, suspected hoodlums attacked some of the observers who came to the court to witness the proceedings.
A witness, who did not want his name mentioned, said the hoodlums attacked anyone in sight.
Sowore also narrated the encounter on Facebook.
“Our attorneys were in court today with great solidarity from some 20 lawyers in IIorin. But as early 7:00 AM Bukola Saraki had mobilised hundreds of supporters and thugs to the Kwara state high court venue to intimidate and harass our lawyers, observers and a solidarity group that came to support our fight against tyranny,” he wrote.
“Later, they also mobilised armed thugs to the venue. Inside the courtroom, our attorney dazzled and dazed, Saraki’s lawyer, Paul Erokoro, SAN, the senior lawyer they hired to come to the court led by Justice Sikiru Oyinloye. The brilliance displayed by our attorney didn’t make the Saraki team happy, so, they had to resort to violence.
“A team of comrades that traveled overnight to Ilorin from Lagos was targeted, their cameras were broken and some were beaten.
“Some of the observers had to hide in the courtroom but as the court ended its proceedings the thugs laid siege on the court premises and wreaked more havoc. Particularly they snatched Crown Olanrewaju Ahmed took to an area in GRA, Ilorin beat him mercilessly and forced him to “confess” under duress and on camera that I sent him to disrupt the court proceedings. They stole his phone afterward.”
Yusuf Olaniyonu, media aide of Saraki, could not be reached for comments, as he neither answered his calls nor responded to a text message.
The case has been adjourned till Septemeber 14, 2017.