IMN : Court shifts hearing of Suit challenging proscription to Sept 11
The Federal High Court, Abuja on Wednesday slated September 11, 2019 for hearing of the motion filed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), challenging an order of the court, proscribing its existence and activities in any part of Nigeria.
Justice Nkeonye Maha had on July 26, in a ruling in an exparte application filed by the federal government, made an order proscribing the existence and activities of the Islamic Movement, also known as Shi’ites in any part of the country under whatever form, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called or referred to.
The movement, in a motion on notice filed on August 2, asked the court to vacate the ex-parte order made on July 26, proscribing the existence and activities of the group in Nigeria on the grounds that the said order, was made without jurisdiction and in violation of their fundamental rights.
The group in the motion filed by their counsel, Femi Falana (SAN) also asked the court to set aside the 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 IMN, under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria
When the matter came up on Wednesday, counsel to the federal government and Solicitor General of the Federation, Dayo Apata, informed the court of a fresh application he filed yesterday, seeking to regularise the process of the government in the suit.
The application was not objected to by Falana, representing the Shiite’s and the application was deemed to have been properly filed and served by the court.
Falana accordingly asked for a short adjournment to enable him respond appropriately to the position of the government in the matter.
In a short ruling, Justice Maha granted the application for adjournment and fixed September 11, 2019 for hearing of the IMN’s motion praying the court for an order to reverse its proscription as a terrorist group.
The Islamic Movement said, “the ex-parte order of July 26, proscribing the existence and activities of the group in any part of Nigeria under whatever form, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called or referred to was made without affording the Respondent/Applicant the right of fair hearing.
”The said order of the honorable court breached the fundamental right of all members of the IMN in Nigeria to fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Laws of the Federation, 2004”.
The IMN while arguing that there was no urgency to have warranted the grant of the order ex parte, observed that no motion on notice was filed together with the motion ex-parte.
The group further submitted that the ex-parte order made by the court has determined the fundamental right of the respondent/applicant without affording them fair hearing.
“The order ex-parte was anchored on misrepresentation of material facts and based on suppression of material facts.
”The ex-parte order constitutes a gross abuse of the process of this honorable court,” the group stated.
Justice Maha had on July 26 as part of ruling banning the activities of the IMN ordered the federal government to publish the order in its official gazette, an order which the government complied with on July 29, 2019.