IMN Sues Sokoto Govt Over Rights Infringements

Aminu TambuwalBy Abdulmumin Giwa
Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has filed an application on Thursday before the Federal High Court in Sokoto seeking the enforcement of its fundament right to religion in the state.
This is contained in a statement issued to newsmen and signed by the president of the Media Forum of the Movement Ibrahim Musa.
The statement said “The prayers sought in the suit filed yesterday in Federal High Court Sokoto, request among others, that the state government and/or any of its agents and the security agencies acting in Sokoto state be restrained from infringing on the religious rights of the Shia community.”
The action was filed by counsel to the IMN, Barrister Alex Adojo and the court has since set 29th of November 2017 as date for hearing in the case.
The IMN said it was necessary to sue the state government in order to arrest any reoccurrence of past clampdown on the Movement initiated by the state where its members were wrongly imprisoned and their property worth hundreds of millions of naira destroyed by sponsored mob.
“Now, if we again allow the government to have its way, to unleash mayhem on a group just because of their belief, thoughts and religious observances, the bitter experience of 2006/7 in Sokoto, when a lot of our members were arrested innocently, prosecuted but eventually vindicated by the Court of Appeal in Sokoto, in the popular case of Malam Kasim Muhammad and 112 others Vs Commissioner of Police could be re-enacted. If we allow a repeat of the situation in Sokoto at the moment, it might spill over to other states of the Federation. We have to let the court enforce our fundamental rights” the statement added.
It further stated that it filled the application for two reasons including “…to express our pains to the entire Nigerian Society and the World at large that this is what is happening in Sokoto state, and by extension in many other parts of the country” and “…we are looking at the gain of taking on this action, because the issue is not who is involved now or where. The issue of the breach in fundamental human rights does not really depend on who is involved and where. The fundamental issue is who is next.”
The statement also warns on the dangers of keeping mute to religious rights infringement by those in authority describing the dangers involved.
“If we close our eyes and watch this kind of activity go on with impunity, one day it could be you or some other group. Somebody could tell any other person in Nigeria not to practice his faith, and there will be total breakdown of law and order.” The statement explained.
It further drew the public attention to an earlier statement calling on the state Governor Aminu Tambuwal to respect and protect the religious rights of the Shiah community in the state as provided by the constitution of country for which it said the Sokoto state government has refused to take responsibility.
“This action became necessary because of the recent developments in Sokoto State where the government has refused to take responsibility. It will be recalled that early this week we issued a press statement in which we said we would hold Governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal responsible for any attack on our persons or properties.” The statement said.

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