IGP’s absence in court stalls hearing on Shiites’ proscription by government
The hearing in a suit filed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), popularly known as Shiites, was yesterday stalled following the absence of one of the respondents, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), at the court sitting.
The Islamic Movement had filed a lawsuit challenging its proscription by the Kaduna State Government and the harassment of its members by law enforcement officials at the Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna.
The interlocutory application, which was due for hearing, could not be heard because the IGP, who had been served hearing notice, was not represented in court.
Presiding Judge of Federal High Court 1, Justice Saleh Musa Shuaibu, directed that the hearing notice be served on the IGP ahead of May 16, 2018, the next adjournment.
Counsel to IMN, Mr. Alex Ajodo, who spoke with newsmen outside the court, said they intended filing a counter-affidavit.
“The matter for hearing today in between interlocutory applications which should have been heard first. It was for us to file further affidavit to counter the affidavit filed by the first to fifth respondents and the sixth and eighth respondents respectively,” he said.
Ajodo, who stated that the adjournment of the matter was in order, said: “The same interlocutory applications could not be heard today because the IGP has not been served.
“The adjournment came about and the court directed that the hearing motion be served on the IGP along with all the processes filed.”
The IMN filed the suit seeking to overturn its proscription by the Kaduna State Government led by Malam Nasir el-Rufai, joining seven others in the suit as respondents over harassment of members of the group.
They premised their argument on the fundamental right to worship and association as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Kaduna State Government was represented in court by the state’s Deputy Director, Public Prosecution, Monday Bulus.
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