Shiites: Again, court awards N200m fine against police

A Federal High Court sitting in Kaduna has ordered the police authorities to pay a cumulative sum of N200 million to the families of two Shiites killed by its officers.

The deceased were killed while on Islamic procession on August 28, 2022 in Soba, Kaduna State.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Hawa Buhari, she held that the “applicants’ rights as guaranteed under Sections 33, 38, 39, 40, 42 and 46 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); Order 2, Rules 1, 2, 3, 4, 11 and 12 of the Fundamental Right (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009; Article 4, 8, 10, 11 and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights 2004 is hereby enforced.”

The judge held that the sum of N100 million which must be paid to each applicants, making a total of N200 million, as compensation and general damages, would attract a 10 per cent interest per anum until the amount is fully paid.

In the judgement, she consolidated the two separate suits filed by the two next-of-kins of the deceased, which are FHC/KD/CS/142/2022 and FHC/KD/CS/144/2022.

“The sum of N100,000,000.00 (One Hundred Million Naira) be paid to each parents of the deceased as compensation and general damages with a 10 % interest per anum until the amount is fully paid.

“The respondents shall tender a public apology to the applicants in one national daily for the breach of their fundamental right,” she declared.

Two applicants; Iliyasu Bashir and and Ahmad Sa’ad had filed the suits marked: are FHC/KD/CS/144/2022 and FHC/KD/CS/142/2022 before the court.

They alleged that on August 28, 2022, the officers of the Nigerian Police shot and killed Mubarak Iliyasu and Aminu Abdulkadir while observing their religious act of worship; Ashura Procession in Soba, Kaduna State.

They had sued the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Assistant Inspector-General of Police Zone 7, Kaduna State Police Commissioner and Danial Pom, former Divisional Police Officer, Soba Division as 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

The applicants, in the motions on notice dated and filed September 26, 2022 by their team of lawyers, including H.G Magashi, M.D Abubakar and Yusha’u S.U, sought seven reliefs.

They sought a declaration that the shooting and killing of Mubarak Iliyasu and Aminu Abdulkadir on the said date while on religious procession was illegal, unconstitutional and flagrant violation of their fundamental right to life as guaranteed by Section 33 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right Act Cap A9 LFN, 2004.

They, therefore, prayed the court for an order mandating the respondents jointly and severally to pay to them the sum of N200 million each for violation of the fundamental rights of their deceased brothers.

They equally sought an order, directing the respondents to tender a formal apology to them by publishing same in two national dailies that are circulating in northern Nigeria.

But the respondents, in their preliminary objection dated and filed on November 8, 2022, sought an order striking out the suits for want of jurisdiction.

Besides, they also filed a counter affidavit in opposing the suits

But Justice Buhari agreed with the submission of the applicants’s counsel, and assumed jurisdiction on the matter.