IMN Asks Court to Vacate Proscription Order  

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

|The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), yesterday, approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, praying it to vacate the order proscribing its activities in the country.

Justice Nkeonye Maha had on July 26, while delivering ruling in an exparte application by the federal government, ordered the proscription of the organisation otherwise known as Shiite, as well as labelling them a terrorist group. The group in a suit filed by its counsel, Haruna Magashi, is challenging the order for being unlawful, illegal, null and void and unconstitutional.

The suit with number: FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019, is specifically seeking an order of the court to set aside the earlier order declaring the activities of IMN as amounting to act of terrorism and illegality.

Part of the group’s prayers include, “An order setting aside, discharge and or vacate the exparte order of this Honourable court made on 26 July 2019, declaring the activities of the respondent as amounting to act of terrorism and illegality.

‘’An order setting aside or vacating the order of the court proscribing the existence and activities of the respondent in any part of Nigeria

‘’An order restraining any person or group of person from participating in any manner in any of the activities of the respondent under any circumstance.”

The respondents predicated their application on the grounds that the order was made without jurisdiction, as the order was made against a non-juristic body.

They further submitted that the order was made without affording the respondent/applicant right to fair hearing. Another ground upon which the respondent/applicant are seeking the setting aside of the order was that it was made in violation of the fundamental human rights of freedom of religion, association amongst others of all members of the organisation across the country.

The federal government had on Thursday July 25, approached the court in the name of the Attorney General of the Federation for the Proscription Order as protest by the group demanding for the release of their leader, Ibrahim Elzakzaky turned violent and resulted in the deaths of over a dozen people including a senior police officer and a Youth Corp member attached to Channels television. In the ex parte application marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019, the government prayed the court for “a declaration that the activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria amounts to acts of terrorism and illegality.                                        “An order of this honourable court proscribing the existence and activities of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in any part of Nigeria, under whatever form or guise either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called.

“An order restraining any person or group of persons from participating in any manner whatsoever in any form of activities involving or concerning the prosecution of the collective intention or otherwise of the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria.

“An order directing the applicant (the AGF) to publish the order proscribing the respondent (Islamic Movement in Nigeria) in the official gazette and two national dailies.” Justice Maha in her ruling granted the application as prayed.

The judge in addition ordered the federal government to gazette the order and publish it in two national newspapers in the country.