Court fixes March 28 for definite hearing in IMN’s suit challenging its proscription


A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Tuesday, fixed March 28 for definite hearing of a suit filed by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) to challenge a court order proscribing its operations in the country.

Justice Emeka Nwite adjourned the matter following a motion filed by the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF), seeking for an extension of time to respond to the IMN’s application.

Upon resumed proceeding, counsel for the AGF, Oyin Koleoso, informed that a motion on notice seeking for an extension of time to file their counter affidavit in response to IMN’s application had been filed.

He prayed the court to grant their motion to enable them regularise their processes.

Lawyer to the IMN, Marshall Abubakar, did not oppose.

And based on the arguments that there are documentary and video evidence to be tendered in court by both parties in proving their case,  the judge adjourned the matter until March 28 for hearing.

It would be recalled that the IMN, in a motion on notice marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019, had sued the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) as sole defendant. 

In the motion dated August 1, 2019 and filed on August 2, 2019, the Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky-led group had sought an order setting aside, discharging and/or vacating the ex-parte order made on July 26, 2019 by Justice Nkeonye Maha of Abuja FHC in suit No: FHC/A8J/CS/876/2019 between: AGF and the IMN, proscribing its existence and activities in any part of Nigeria under whatever form, either in groups or as individuals by whatever names they are called or referred to.

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 It also sought an order setting aside, discharging and/or vacating the ex parte order of the court 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 Islamic group under any other name or platform howsoever called or described in any part of Nigeria. 

Part of the grounds giving for the application were that the court made the July 26, 2019 order without jurisdiction, as the order was made against a non-juristic body. 

IMN said that the court did not afford it the right of fair hearing when making the order.

Besides, it said that the order breached the fundamental rights of all members of the IMN 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 , among others.


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