IMN challenges proscription in Court

The proscribed Islamic Movement of Nigeria ( IMN) has challenged in Court the action of the Federal Government that banned it in the Country in 2019. 

The suit filed IMN before the Federal High Court Abuja challenging  its proscription by Justice Nkeonye Maha in 2019 comes up for hearing on Wednesday, October 6, 2021.

A counsel in the matter  informed our correspondent Tuesday that the case had suffered many adjournments at the instance of the federal government. 

Recalled that on July 26, 2019, Justice Maha of a Federal High Court in Abuja had ordered the proscription of IMN in a ruling in which she also designated the activities of the  organisation in any part of Nigeria “as acts of terrorism and illegality.”

The court in the ruling also restrained “any person or group of persons” from participating in any form of activities involving or concerning the IMN “under any name or platform” in Nigeria.

And it equally ordered the Attorney General Federation (AGF)  to “publish the order proscribing the respondent (IMN) in the official gazette and two national dailies.”

Justice Maha’s order following an ex parte application by the Federal Government marked FHC/ABJ/CS/876/2019 and filed in the name of the ‘Attorney-General of the Federation.’

A lawyer  in the chambers of Femi Falana (SAN),Marshal Abubakar the counsel to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky the leader of IMN, said on Tuesday that hearing on the suit  challenging the proscription would take place on Wednesday (today).

“ The IMN proscription suit comes up tomorrow (today, Wednesday too)”, he said but did not give further details.

The Spokesperson of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, who however confirmed the hearing of the suit said it was not an appeal. 

He said, “It’s not appeal, we are challenging the ban order before the Federal High Court (in Abuja) which was issued in July 2019. It’s coming up for hearing tomorrow (Wednesday, today). The (proscription) order was given by Justice Nkeonye Maha of a Federal High Court in Abuja.”

Meanwhile, a civil rights movement under the aegis of Center for Excellence Leadership and Development on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to release the passport of El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenah whom were freed by High Court in Kaduna after trial and to allow them  access their medics overseas.

The Executive Director of CELD, Rev. Dr. Abubakar Mazo made the plea during a press conference held at the secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists in Abuja.

He warned that Abuja would soon become a battlefield with protests by supporters and followers of El-Zakzaky if government refuse to release the passports.  

The text of the speech was titled: “Zakzaky, wife should be allowed to attend to their health.”

Manzo said, “The deterioration in the couple’s health condition is so glaring as the Sheikh could be seen limping and his wife confined to a wheelchair as they exited the court premises last month.

 He attributes Zakzaky deteriorating health to lack of access to proper medical attention in the course of the years they have spent in illegal detention.

“As you are aware, it has been over two months since the leader of IMN, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife were acquitted and discharged by Kaduna State High Court, after spending almost six years in illegal detention. 

“The Sheikh and his wife have suffered enough already: six of their children were extra judicially killed in the pace of less than two years, over a thousand of his followers were killed and buried in mass graves, and hundreds of others killed while peacefully protesting against his illegal detention; therefore not allowing them to travel at the moment is tantamount to rubbing salt in their wounds.

“If anything, the government should, for the good of the nation, maintain the fresh breath of air in the streets of Abuja and other cities considering the security crisis ravaging the country; it’s therefore unwise of the government to add yet another, he warned.