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Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Court rules Shiites must obey Sokoto laws on religion

Court rules Shiites must obey Sokoto laws on religion

Zaria between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army

The Federal High Court in Sokoto has ordered members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) otherwise called Shi’ites to always obey the existing Sokoto state laws in observing religious activities in the state.

The group had sued the Sokoto state government and six others over alleged breach of their fundamental human rights.

They sought N50 million compensation from the respondents for the excruciating pains its members allegedly suffered from their unlawful acts.

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In his judgement Wednesday, the presiding judge, Justice Saleh Idrissa averred that the police have statutory obligations to protect lives and properties while IMN as group or individuals also have the rights and freedom to practice their religion activities provided that they would jeopardize the right and freedom of others.

He however, dismissed the preliminary objection filed by counsel to the Police and state government, challenging the jurisdiction of the court to the case which they said was instituted by faceless persons.

Justice Idrissa further restrained the police from undue interference in the group’s activities or harassing their members.

He refused to grant one of their prayer, seeking N50 million compensation from the defendants.

Reacting to the judgement, counsel to the applicants,Mr Alex Ajodo described it as a landmark judgement which they would study and decide on what to do next.

The counsel to I-G and Sokoto state Commissioner of Police, Samai’la Lawal and counsel to Sokoto State Government, Steve Emelieze also expressed gratitude to the court over the judgement.

TheNigerialawyer recalls that the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) case was filed by Professor Shehu Maigandi, Malam Kasimu Mohammed and Malam Sidi Mannir on behalf of the sect and its members in Sokoto state against Governor Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Sokoto state government.

Other respondents included the state Attorney General, the state Director, the State Commissioner of Police and the Inspector General of police as well as the Director, DSS, Abuja.

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