A Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed January 19, 2022, to hear the suit filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Shiek Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah, against the Department of State Services and the Attorney General of the Federation.
Justice Inyang Ekwo, fixed the date to allow the DSS and AGF, respond to allegations bordering on fundamental rights enforcement, leveled against them.
In separate suits, the IMN leader and his wife, are demanding general and exemplary damages over the respondent’s refusal to release their international passports.
They are also praying the court to grant an order, restraining the DSS and AGF, from further violation of their rights.
In the suits filed by the Femi Falana Chambers on October 14, they told the court that their passports were last seen in the possession of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), which has officially denied that it was in their possession.
On attempting to renew their passports through the Immigration Service, it was revealed that the passports had been flagged by the DSS.
They added that all requests to remove the restriction have been ignored by the agency.
The couple are also demanding the sum of two billion naira each, for the alleged violation of their fundamental rights to freedom, fair hearing, despite being acquitted and discharged by a court on July 28.
The Special Task Force, Operation Safe Haven has ordered troops to stop members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) from protesting in any part of Plateau State.
The order was contained in a statement signed by the Military Information Officer, Major Ishaku Takwa.
“Operation Safe Haven, the joint security task force maintaining law and order in Plateau State and parts of Bauchi and Southern Kaduna has ordered troops to ensure that the planned protest by members of the proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) or any other group does not take place in any part of Plateau State until full security is guaranteed,” the statement partly reads.
IMN had planned a nationwide protest over the health challenges of its leader Ibrahim El-Zakazky, and members of the outlawed group in Plateau scheduled their march for Friday.
However, the joint security task force said intelligence reports indicate that the planned protest will breach security in the state.
According to Major Takwa’s communique, the protest could be hijacked by hoodlums and miscreants thereby causing mayhem within the Jos metropolis.
The Force called on members of the IMN to shelve their planned protest as the operation is committed to the total restoration of peace in Plateau.
The military also said it is working with the state government, critical stakeholders such as traditional and religious leaders, and the citizens to achieve the mandate.
Plateau has been relatively peaceful until recently when brazen attacks forced a sphere of apprehension in the state, prompting Governor Simon Lalong to impose a curfew on three local government areas.
Over 112 Killed In Kaduna And Plateau
The recent killings in Plateau stirred great concerns not just across the country, but within the international community, even as Amnesty International revealed in a report that it has been monitoring the violence in the state.
According to Amnesty’s report, at least 112 people have been killed and about 160 kidnapped following bloody assaults in Kaduna and Plateau States within the last one month.
The rights organisation in its communique inferred that the authorities’ failure enabled a month of bloodbath within the two states.
While 78 people were killed and 160 abducted by bandits between July 3 and August 5 in Kaduna State, including 121 schoolchildren of Bethel Baptist Church High School, 34 persons lost their lives in Plateau State.
This included seven herders who were attacked on July 1 at Dogon Gaba and two others who were lynched at Fusa Village while trying to locate their missing cow.
Villagers from farming communities informed Amnesty International that innocent people and communities that know nothing about the attacks are sometimes targeted for reprisal.
Re-emphasising that the slow and ineffective response by security officials has contributed to the attacks and reprisals in Plateau, the agency urged the Nigerian government to ensure that proactive measures were taken to forestall future attacks.
It also called on the government to investigate, arrest and prosecute perpetrators.
Police Arrest 13 More Suspects
In a bid to restore calm and rekindle confidence, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) swung into action after the latest incident in which 25 persons were confirmed killed and 23 injured along Rukuba Road in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State.
The police on Monday arrested thirteen suspects, while the Head of the Police Intervention Team (PIT), DIG Sanusi Lemu, continued coordinating police investigative, operational, and peace-building responses.
Force spokesman, CP Frank Mba who disclosed this in a statement, said the Inspector General of Police, Alkali Baba Usman, has ordered the deployment of additional operational assets in the state as part of ongoing coordinated efforts at restoring public order in Rukuba and its environs.
A police surveillance helicopter, two units of Police Mobile Force (PMF), and two cells of Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) were also among the assets deployed to Plateau State by the police chief.
The surveillance helicopter, manned by operatives of Nigeria Police Airwing, is expected to carry out aerial surveillance and confidence-boosting patrols within the hotspots, in coordinated operations with the ground troops.
IGP Usman assured the people of Plateau that the police remained committed to working with other patriotic stakeholders towards restoring public order in the state and other parts of the country.
Despite being proscribed by both the Kaduna State and Federal Government, members of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have staged a protest to demand the release of their embattled leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention.
Holding flag with different inscriptions on Wednesday, the IMN members marched along the popular Ahmadu Bello way down to Leventis roundabout, contrary to the ban on their activities by the Kaduna State Government.
The group is demanding the immediate release of El-Zakzaky, his wife, and other members of the IMN who are being detained in various parts of the country.
At least two persons are feared killed during a clash between members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites, and the police in Kaduna State.
A crowd of IMN members had held a procession on Sunday in the Kaduna state capital and Zaria, before the unfortunate incident took place.
The march was held in commemoration of the Ashura, a religious rite held by Shiites globally on the 10th of the Muharram Islamic calendar.
While the procession was ongoing along the popular Ahmadu Bello Way in the state capital, the crowd was dispersed by a team of policemen who arrived at the scene.
Although the police authorities in Kaduna State have yet to confirm the incident, the spokesman for the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, issued a statement.
Musa claimed that some heavily-armed security forces came and started shooting at the crowd with live ammunition and in the process, two members were killed and many others got injured.
He also alleged that four other IMN members were wounded and two arrested by the police in Zaria when they started shooting sporadically also to disperse hundreds of IMN members who participated in the annual Ashura procession in the city and concluded it peacefully.
According to the IMN spokesman, the Ashura procession was commemorated peacefully virtually in over 300 towns and villages in Nigeria without threat from the authorities except in Kaduna State.
He said the police have allegedly killed four members of the Shiite group and injured over 15 others in the last 10 days of mourning activities of the group.
Both the Kaduna State and the Federal Government had outlawed the IMN and their activities all over the country.
In July 2019, the Federal Government ordered the proscription of the movement and designated the activities of the Shiite organisation in any part of the country as ”acts of terrorism and illegality.”
A nongovernmental organization, the Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has filed a suit at the Kaduna state High Court asking for an order to stop the Spokesman of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Musa, from publishing a book on the December 2015 clash between the group and the Army in Zaria which led to loss of many lives and property.
The group says the proposed book is capable of jeopardizing the ongoing trial of the embattled IMN leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife.
Speaking to reporters shortly after filing an exparte motion at the court, counsel to Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) Edward Omaga, says the Centre views the attempt to publish the book on the alleged massacre of IMN members in Zaria, as an attempt to prove that Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his followers are not guilty even when he and some of his members are being prosecuted in a competent court for various offences by the Kaduna state government.
The group, therefore, wants the court to stop the IMN spokesman from releasing the book for public consumption at the same time when issues are before the court of law, and more so that the IMN has been proscribed by both Kaduna state and the Federal Government.
In the originating summons, the nongovernmental organization wants the court to determine whether by virtue of the report of the judicial commission of inquiry into the clash between IMN and the Nigerian army and the gazetted white paper emanating from it, the IMN was not proscribed and designated as a terrorist group ,and whether Ibrahim Musa is not by writing a book on the IMN attempting to commit an act of terrorism.
The Centre is also asking the court for an order mandating the Kaduna state Commissioner of Police to arrest and prosecute the IMN spokesman for trying to publish the book entitled, “December 2015 Massacre of Shiites in Nigeria: Survivors Accounts” which it says, amounts to trying to dislodge the Nigerian government.
Omaga explains that the centre’s interest is to see that the security of the nation is not threatened under any guise and that members of the public are not allowed to engage in activities capable of inciting people against the government or rubbishing the temple of justice.
However, in a swift reaction, the IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa describes the group’s suit as a deliberate attempt to suppress the true account of what happened between Shiites and soldiers in Zaria.
According to him, the nongovernmental organization is one of the groups hired by the Nigerian army to blackmail the IMN and its members by ensuring the proposed book which has survivors’ account does not see the light of the day, adding that no amount of court action or blackmail against the IMN will stop the public presentation of the book.
Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has said that the Federal Government did not order the release of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leaders of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) popularly known as Shiites because his case is being handled by the Kaduna state government.
Mr Malami, who was quoted in a statement by his spokesman Dr. Umar Gwandu on Friday, stated that the Federal Government does not interfere with the cases that are being prosecuted by a State Governments.
El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat, who were arrested in December 2015, are facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among other charges in a Kaduna State High Court.
They were first arraigned on May 15, 2018, two years after their arrest in Zaria.
Some Shiites members have protested the continued detention of El-Zakzaky, storming the United Nations Headquarters, the National Assembly and the streets of Abuja, with several confrontations with the police and Army.
A Kaduna state high court in December ordered that El-Zakzaky and his wife be transferred from the custody of the DSS to a correctional centre in the state.
A Kaduna state high court sitting in the state capital has ordered that the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife be transferred from the custody of the DSS to a correctional centre in the state.
The trial judge, Justice Gideon Kudafa in his ruling on Thursday says the decision to remand the IMN leader and his wife in a correctional facility is to enable their lawyers and doctors to have easy access to them.
He, therefore, adjourned the case to February the 6th for the commencement of trial.
The IMN leader is facing trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace, among other charges.
The trial judge, Justice Gideon Kudafa had on March the 26th adjourned the case indefinitely following his appointment as a member of the Election Petition Tribunal in Yobe State.
El-Zakzaky and his wife were not in court during the last proceedings, although their counsel, Femi Falana, claimed that their absence was due to their deteriorated health conditions.
He and his wife (Zeenat) were denied bail by the presiding judge during the last sitting on January 22, 2018.
In the application for bail filed by El Zakzaky’s lawyer, Femi Falana, on his behalf at the last sitting, the legal practitioner prayed the court to give a mandatory order for his client and his wife to be flown abroad.
Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, informed the court that this was to enable them to receive proper medical attention since the Federal Government has glaringly failed to cure them of the injuries they sustained during the alleged army’s onslaught on their residence in December 2015.
The judge in his ruling, however, ordered that El Zakzaky should be allowed by the government to bring doctors of his choice to examine him in the presence of doctors from the government before the date of the next sitting.
With the absence of the trial judge, Counsel to the IMN leader, Mr. Falana, filed a fresh application at another court of equal jurisdiction on July the 18th asking it to grant his clients leave to seek medical attention abroad and thereafter return for the continuation of their trial.
Consequently, on August the 5th, the presiding judge, Justice Darius Khobo ordered that the IMN leader and his wife be accompanied abroad by officials of the Kaduna State government.
The presiding judge ruled that El-Zakzaky and his wife should proceed to India for medical treatment, after which they will return to Nigeria to face their trial.
Police operatives in Kaduna have dispersed members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) also known as shiites from staging a protest in the state capital and Zaria.
The Command’s Public Relations Officer, DSP Yakubu Sabo who confirmed the situation in a statement on Thursday said, members of the outlawed group were sighted at the Central area of Kaduna Metropolis and the police operatives promptly responded and dispersed them from staging the protest.
According to him, the IMN members on sighting security agents, mixed with the mass population of men and women who were doing their legitimate businesses within the market area.
He added that there was no encounter between the police and the IMN members, and no casualty was recorded as well.
The statement further explained that a similar violent procession was carried out in Zaria today by the banned IMN group, while it took the gallant efforts of security agents comprising of the Police, Army and the Civil Defence to disperse them and ensure public order and safety
“The Command, however, reminds members of the public that the ban on all forms of processions in Kaduna State is still in force.
“Hence, will not hesitate to deal decisively with any person or group of persons who are hell-bent at causing disharmony or breach of the public peace and safety within the ambit of the law”.
IGP Adamu said all other Muslims are free to carry out the annual “Ashura” procession in line with their faith, he however warned that they should do so within the confines of the law.
He also urged them to guard against infiltration by “unscrupulous elements” who may want to take advantage of the event to cause disruption of public peace, order and security.
According to the police spokesman’s communique, the IGP has directed all Commissioners of Police and their respective supervisory Assistant Inspectors-General of Police in Commands and Zones to give full effect to the above clarifications and ensure that non-IMN Muslims are not in any way restricted from exercising their freedom of religion, worship and peaceful assembly.
The IGP also enjoined members of the public to be calm and go about their lawful businesses, noting that the Force is doing all within its capacity to ensure there is no breach of the peace, law and order anywhere in the country.