Court fixes June 29 for judgment in alleged killings of three IMN members by police

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The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed June 29 to deliver judgment in the alleged killings of three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) by officers of the Nigerian police.

Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who adjourned the matter for judgment after listening to counsel in the suit, however fixed June 30 for hearing in a suit filed by one Said Haruna, brother to another IMN member alleged to have also been killed by the police.

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The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the the Inspector General of Police is the 1st respondent while the medical directors of National Hospital, Abuja, and Asokoro District Hospital are both 2nd respondent in the four separate charges.

Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa, Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska and Askari Hassan were alleged to have been killed by agents of the first respondent on July 22, 2019 while on a peaceful protest to demand for the freedom of their Islamic Leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

While the bodies of Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa and Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska were alleged to have been deposited at National Hospital, Abuja, the body of Askari Hassan was alleged to have been kept in Asokoro District Hospital.

The applicants, who are said to be brothers of the deceased in the suit, are Ibrahim Abdullahi, Ahmad Musa, Yusuf Faska and Said Haruna respectively.

The four applicants, in separate affidavits in support of the originating motions to enforce their fundamental rights filed by their lawyer, Bala Dakum, said they were brothers to the deceased.
They told the court that they wrote the hospital managements, through their lawyers, for the release of their brothers for burial in accordance with Islamic rites but to no avail.

The applicants prayed the court to declare that “the killings of the deceased on July 22, 2019 by the police was illegal, unlawful, null and void and amounts to gross violation of their fundamental rights to life as enshrined in Section 33(1) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

“An order of this honourable court directing the 1st and 2nd respondents to release the corps of the deceased to the applicants for burial in accordance with Islamic rites.”

They also sought for the order of the court directing the Nigerian police to pay each of the applicants the sum of one hundred million naira for unlawful detention and killings of their brothers.

“An order of this honourable court directing the respondent to tender a formal apology to the applicants by publishing same in two national daily newspapers.

“Such further order(s) as this honourable court may deem fit to make in the circumstances of this case,” the motion read in part.

At the resumed hearing, after counsel to the four applicants, Dakum, presented the motion before Justice Taiwo, Chris Momoh, who appeared for National Hospital Abuja said he did not file counter affidavits in respect of the suits by the three applicants because the hospital was only a custodian to the bodies brought by the 1st respondent.

However, counsel to the Asokoro District Hospital, T. Suleiman, informed the court that a counter affidavit and written address had been filed in respect of the suit by Said Haruna.

Dakum, who admitted being served with the counter application filed by Suleiman on the same day (Wednesday), asked the court to adjourn the matter to enable him respond to the motion.

Justice Taiwo, after taking the arguments, fixed June 29 for judgment in the case filed by Abdullahi, Musa and Faska and adjourned Haruna’s suit until June 30 for hearing. (NAN)

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