Thursday, 6 July 2017

Court dismisses suit by El Zakzaky against Nigerian Army

A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna Thursday dismissed the suit brought by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and Malama Zeenat El-Zakzaky against Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff and two others citing abuse of court process.
The  leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria and his wife had filed a N2 billion suit against the Army, COAS, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Attorney General of Kaduna state over the invasion of their private house at No1 Wali Road Gyellesu, Zaria, Kaduna state by armed soldiers, which led to the death of  three of their children while injuring other members of the family.
But delivering judgement Thursday, the Presiding judge, Justice Saleh Musa Shaibu said the 34 paragraph affidavit with two annexures which the  daughter of the plaintiffs deposed to  was not properly, as she did give  reason why she was the one deposing to the affidavit instead of her parents.

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, who filed the suit seeking eight reliefs that include declarations by the Court that the violent invasion of the applicants' private residence at No 1 Wali Road Gyellesu, Zaria, Kaduna state by armed soldiers was flagrant violation of their fundamental right, that shooting of the applicants by armed soldiers who are agents of respondents one and two is illegal and unconstitutional, that the cruel inhuman treatment of the applicants at their private residence is a flagrant violation of their fundamental right to dignity of human person.
In his ruling, Justice Shaibu said that the issue of jurisdiction raised by counsel to the third respondent, TD Agbe and adopted by the other respondents enjoys primacy. He added that there is ground for abuse of judicial process because Justice Gabriel Kolawole of Federal High Court Abuja had "delivered ruling on December 2, 2016. Reliefs number 3, 5 and 6 are based on rights guaranteed to the applicants which have been determined by the suit FHC/ABJ/CS/281/2016. This suit seek to re-litigate issues that have been filed and determined. This is a clear case of abuse of judicial process.
"The law is settled that a claimant can't conduct his case piecemeal, it's abuse of court proceedings. The law allows a claimant to state his case cumulatively. This court lacks the power to review the case that has been appealed. I have not been called to review that judgment,  I have not done that, I have not gone beyond making the relief and grounds granted by that court. The apicant cannot seek to re-litigate the same case before this court. The present proceeding qualify as an abuse of court proceedings. The ground of abuse of court proceedings have merit and it subsists subsequently the court hereby struck out the case but I award no cost. 
Festus Okoye who stood int for Femi Falana said the dismissed the judgement as poor, noting that it would not be accepted by his clients.

"it is evident that the judge puts lot of industry in writing the judgment. We are going to take further instructions from my client. Definitelu the matter would go on appeal because the Sheikh would not accept the judgement."

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