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Court Awards N15m Against Police Over Killing Of IMN Members

A file photo of policemen dispersing Shiite members during a protest in Abuja on July 22, 2019. Photo: Channels TV/ Sodiq Adelakun.



The Abuja Division of the Federal High court has slammed a fine of N15 million on the Nigeria Police Force for the killing of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

The IMN members were killed during the protests which turned violent in July 2019 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who awarded the cost against the police on Monday, also ordered the immediate release of the corpses of three members of the Shiite group deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital.

In his judgment, the judge held that the action of the police was both illegal and unlawful as it contravened the provisions of Section 31(1) of the Constitution which bordered on the fundamental rights of the victims.

Lawyers to the police were unavailable throughout the hearing of the suit to counter the submissions of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria with regards to the accounts of what transpired during the protest held on July 22, 2019.

On account of this, Justice Taiwo held that the submission in law that was not countered by another party would, therefore, be admitted as correct.

However, the police lawyer who showed up for the judgment, Simon Lough, claimed that the court had been misled.

On the other hand, the counsel to the applicants, Bala Dakum, commended the judgement, saying justice had been served.

Akinola Ajibola

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