By John Shiklam in Kaduna
A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna yesterday dismissed the N2billion suit filled by the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiekh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, against the Nigerian Army and three others.
The Shiite leader had dragged the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, the Attorney General of the Federal of the Federation (AGF) and the Kaduna State Government before the Federal High Court in Kaduna over alleged violation of his rights, the destruction of his property and the killing of his three children in December 2015.
Followers of the IMN leader had clashed with the Nigerian Army in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State, leading to the killing of over 300 people including his three children.
Delivering judgment, Justice Salah Musa Shuaibu, said the suit was tantamount to abuse of court processes as the matter had been decided by another court.
He stressed that where there is an abuse of court proceeding, the striking out of the case was necessary.
The judge noted that the same matter had been decided by the Federal High Court in Abuja and advised legal practitioners to stop the practice of filling same cases in different courts to avoid undesirable consequences of the decision of the courts .
The judge maintained that the court cannot review the judgment of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja as it did not have the jurisdiction to do so.
“The law is settled that a claimant can’t conduct his case piecemeal, it’s abuse of court proceedings. The law allows a claimant to state his case cumulatively. This court lacks the power to review the case that has been appealed.
“I have not been called to review that judgment, I have not done that, I have not gone beyond making the relief and grounds granted by that court. The applicant cannot seek to re-litigate the same case before this court.
“The present proceeding qualify as an abuse of court proceedings. The ground of abuse of court proceedings have merit and it subsists subsequently the court hereby struck out the case but I award no cost” the judge ruled.
It would be recalled that the Federal High Court in Abuja, presided by Justice Gabriel Kolawole had earlier delivered judgment on ordering the release of Zakzaky and his wife within 45 days and ordered a befitting accommodation and the payment of N50 million as damages to them.
The federal government had appealed against the decision of the Abuja court.