Court Orders Police To Pay Shiites N70m For Members’ Death, Injuries

Sokoto State leader, Shiite Islamic Group, Shiekh Sidi Munir Mainasara, addressing reporters in Sokoto
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From Ankeli Emmanuel, Sokoto

For killing four of their members and shooting others during a peaceful religious procession in Sokoto in 2021, the Court of Appeal siting in Sokoto  has ordered the Inspector General of Police, and the State Commissioner of Police as 1st and 2nd respondents respectively to pay over N70 million compensation to the Shiite Muslim community in Sokoto. 

Expressing gratitude to the Court of Appeal for upholding the tenets of the Constitution, Sokoto State leader of the Shiite Islamic group, Mallam Sidi Munir Mainasara at a press briefing , wondered why they have continued to suffer all manner of deprivation, oppression and degrading treatment in the hands of government whose primary responsibly it is to protect their lives and property and guarantee freedom of worship as enshrined in the Constitution. 

A certified true copy of the Court order made available to newsmen by Malam Sidi Mainasara with Appeal No. CA/S/131/2022 SUIT NO. FHC/CS/14/2021 and signed by Hon. Justice Ebiowei Tobi and Auwalu Danladi Esq, the acting Deputy Chief Registrar, Court of Appeal, Sokoto Division set aside an initial judgment delivered in respect of the case by Justice John Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Sokoto on 17th of May, 2022.

Stating that the appeal succeeds and is allowed, the Court order reads in part: “The judgment of the High Court of Nigeria, Sokoto Division delivered on the 17th of May, 2022 by J.K Omotosho in suit No. FHC/CS/14/2021 is hereby set aside. 

‘”That the sudden vicious attack by the respondent’s officers and men against members of the Shia Muslim Community in Sokoto city on the 19th August, 2021, that is, opening of fire and shooting on armless Shiites sporadically using live ammunitions and which resulted in the death of Hassan Abubakar, Imrana Umar, Bello Muhammad and Haidar Musa Bodinga and fatal bullet wounds to 4th, 5th and 7th to 9th applicants is deliberate, waton, unwarranted, inhuman, unconscionable, unlawful and same violates sections 33(1) and section 34(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and articles 4 and 5 respectively of the African Charter on Human and Peoples rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act LFN 2010″.

Having established these grounds, the three-member Justices of the  Court of Appeal – Mohammed Danjuma, Muhammed Shuaibu and Ebiowei Tobi – issued an order for compensation against the respondents and in favour of the appellants thus. 

The court ruled: “The sum of ten million naira (10,000.000.00) for each of the lives of late Hassan Abubakar, late Imrana Umar, late Haidar Musa Bodinga and late Muhammad Bello gruesomely taken by men and officers of the respondents for no just and lawful cause.

“‘The sum of two million naira (2,000.000.00) for each of the 4th, 5th and 7th to 9th appellants whose personal dignity was violated on them and which endangers their lives by the officers and men of the respondents for no just and lawful cause.

””The sum of thirty million naira (30,000.000.00) against the respondents and in favour of the entire Shia Muslim Community in Sokoto State for the degrading, inhuman treatment of firing live ammunitions at them in their armless state during the Ashura procession in Sokoto State on the 19th day of August 2021 resulting to sudden fracas and disruption of appellants peaceful profession”. 

It will be recalled that Prof. Shehu Ahmad Maigandi, Malam Sidi Minir Mainasara, Abuzar Yahaya Daniya, Mubarak Iliyasu Jega, Mustapha Sani Shinkafi, Aliyu Bello, Nazir Shehu, Mustapha Yusuf and Zayyanu Ladan (all appellants) had on behalf of themselves and the entire Shia Muslim Community in Sokoto sued the Inspector General of Police and Sokoto State Commissioner of Police (respondents) for shooting and killing some of their members during peaceful religious procession in 2021, a case which Justice John Omotosho of the Federal High Court then struked out.

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