Court Adjourns Hearing in Zakzaky’s N2bn Suit against Nigerian Army


John Shiklam in Kaduna

The Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna thursday adjourned to June 30, a N2billion suit filed against the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff and three others by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, over alleged abuse of his human right, destruction of his house in Zaria and the murder of his three children.

The case was adjourned at the instance of the defence counsel who was unable to identify and argue the motion he had filed alleging abuse of court process in the Zakzaky’s suit .

Counsel to the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff who are the first and the second defendants respectively in the suit, Hussein Oyebanji, told the presiding judge, Justice Saleh Shuaibu, that he was not familiar with the case.

El-Zakzaky is seeking for N2 billion as damages over the killing of his three children and destruction of his house.

His house was destroyed and three children were killed during a clash between his followers and the Nigerian army in December 2015.

At the resumed of hearing on the suit thursday, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Femi Falana (SAN) moved an application for the regularisation of the processes that he had filed out of time.
However, Oyebanji told the judge that he was not ‎familiar with the case.
‎Justice Shuaibu adjourned the case to June 30 to enable the defence identify and argue his motion.

Speaking in an interview with journalists after the adjournment, Falana cautioned against foot dragging in the case.

“We cannot challenge a violation of human rights that occur in a particular state outside that state, because the destruction took place in Kaduna and it shall be determined in the state where the violation of human right took place,” he said.

He said since the government has pledged to operate within the confines of rule of law, the government must uphold orders of a competent court, noting that “it is Zakzaky today, it might be another person from government official tomorrow.”

According to Falana, “this government has pledged to operate under the rule of law, so for that reason, by the virtue of Section 387 of the Constitution, all authorities and person are bind by judgment.

“So, a government that goes to court everyday to ask for justice cannot go there to justify disobedience to court order, this is barbaric and primitive. So, we are not going to allow that.”