Court dismisses El-Zakzaky’s case over abuse of proceedings

The leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria otherwise known as Shi”te, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

Shiites condemns judgment, vows to appeal

A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has dismissed the suit brought by leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, describing it as ‘abuse of court processes’

The applicants had sued the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai; Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and the Kaduna State Government over the bloody clash in Zaria, leading to the death of their three children and destruction of property.

The Federal High Court in Abuja, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had earlier ordered their release within 45 days, provision of befitting accommodation and payment of damages to the tune of N50 million to them.

In his ruling yesterday, Justice Salah Musa Shuaibu said that there was an abuse of court proceedings, hence the striking out of the case is necessary.He said the 34 paragraph affidavit with two annexure deposed to by daughter of the plaintiffs, Zuhalla Ibraheem, were not properly asserted, as the deponent did not state reasons why she was the one deposing to the affidavit instead of her parents.

He said since the two suits separately brought by the applicants were similar and seeking the same reliefs, he has no option than to consolidate them to save time.The judge, who urged legal practitioners to stop the practice of filling same cases in different courts to avoid undesirable consequences of the courts’ decisions, said that the court could not review the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja as it did not have the jurisdiction to do so.

Meanwhile, counsel to the applicants, Festus Okoye, described the judgment as poor, noting that it would not be accepted by his clients thereby giving room for appealing the case.

He said: “We are going to take further instructions from my client. Definitely, the matter would go on appeal because the Sheikh would not accept the judgment.”Also, the Media Secretary for IMN, Abdulmumin Giwa, has disputed the judgment against the group, saying that there was no similarity between proceedings in Kaduna and Abuja.

He, however, maintained that the Movement would continue to seek legal redress on the matter until fairness and justice prevail.His words: “We wonder why the judge is trying to shy away from the case. That of Abuja is different from that of Kaduna. In the case, which was taken to Abuja High Court, we demanded the freedom of our leader that was arrested and detained illegally without trial, while here in Kaduna is all about the killing of his three children and destruction of his property.He should have listened to the case first before making decisions.

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