12 June, 2014

Abuja High Court has fixed July 14 for judgment in the suit


Hearing on the suit filed against the police by campaigners calling for the release of the over 200 abducted Chibok girls will commence on Thursday.

The group had filed the suit after the Federal Capital Territory Commissioner of Police, Mr Joseph Mbu, on June 2, issued an order banning protests by the group. They are seeking 200 million Naira in damages and an order restraining the police from interfering with their protest.

Members of the group also planned to write to the Inspector General of Police to effect his plans of deploying security operatives to protect the group while its protests are on.

Coordinator of the group, Hadiza Usman, said that it had become worrisome to note that the Inspector General of Police had not attached security operatives to protect the group in the course of daily sit-outs, one week after his advise for adequate security at the venues of rallies.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar, had on June 3, reversed the order  order by Mr Mbu banning protest in the nation’s capital Abuja.

Contrary to Mbu’s order, the spokesman for the Police, Mr Frank Mba, told reporters in Abuja that the police authorities had not issued any order banning peaceful assemblies and protests anywhere in the country.

Mr Mbu had hinged the ban on the emergence of parallel groups which posed security risk to the nation’s capital, but the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ campaigners rejected the directive, insisting that the protest would continue.

The police high command reversing the ban explained that intelligence report had necessitated the need to advise the protesters on the possibility of infiltration by criminal elements.

The group started protest few weeks after the abduction of the girls on April 14 by a terrorist group, Boko Haram.

Military say it is has identified the location of the girls and is putting strategies in place to rescue them without casualties.
 Abuja High Court has fixed July 14 for judgment 

At the resumed hearing of the suit, lawyer to the plaintiffs, Mr Femi Falana, told the court that although the Inspector-General of Police had clarified the issue of the purported ban by Mr Mbu, there was a need for the court to make a pronouncement on the matter.

The lawyer representing the Police, Mr Simon Lough, however, challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit. He also argued that the plaintiffs lacked the locus standi to institute the action.

Justice Sunday Aladetoyinbo, after listening to the argument of all the parties, adjourned the suit to July 14 for judgment.

Mr Femi Falana on behalf of the plaintiffs vowed to continue the peaceful rally until the abducted girls are released.


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