The Inspector-General of Police (IG) and the Director General (DG) of the Department of State Services (DSS) have been dragged before the Abuja Division of the Federal High Court, over unlawful killing and harassment of Shi’ite members on peaceful religious practice.
The suit filed by a 25-year-old man, Suleiman Sadi, is marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/1147/2021.
Others sued in the suit dated and filed October 4 are: the Nigerian Army, Nigerian Airforce, Commandant-General of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and Attorney General of Federation (AGF) as third to sixth defendants respectively.
The suit, filed by the plaintiff’s lawyer, Bala Dakum, stated that the procession carried out on September 27 and 28 was conducted peacefully until the security agents’ attack them without provocation.
According to the affidavit in support of the suit, the plaintiffs claimed that security forces had warned them against carrying on with the religious activities, even when it was absolutely peaceful.
Among the reliefs sought by the plaintiffs are a declaration that by virtue of Section 38(1), 40 and 42(1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), he and other Nigerian Shi’ite Muslims are guaranteed freedom to peacefully assemble, associate and practice their religion in public in any part of Nigeria, including the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja.
“That the arrest, detention, maltreatment and killing of several Shi’ite Muslims who assembled at Gwarimpa, the FCT, Abuja on September 28, 2021, to carry out peaceful religious procession by the agents of the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th defendants, their agents or privies amounted to violation of their rights to freedom of religion, association and peaceful assembly.
The applicant, therefore, urged the court to make an order of perpetual injunction, restraining the first to fourth defendants from further arresting, intimidating, shooting, killing or interfering with any peaceful assembly or peaceful religious procession by the plaintiff and other Nigerian Shi’ite Muslims in any part of the country, including FCT.
He also sought an order directing the IG to protect the plaintiffs and the group wherever they are out to carry out peaceful religious practice in the country.
The matter is yet to be assigned to a judge as at the time of filing the report.
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