Islamic Centre Versus Niger State Government

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Abubakar Sani Bello, Governor, Niger State

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The ECOWAS Court adjourns case instituted by Islamic Centre against the Niger State government, in northern Nigeria over human right abuses and destruction of the plaintiff’s properties

The ECOWAS Community Court of Justice has adjourned until September 22, 2015, hearing in the case of Mainu Hamdallahi Islamic Centre Limited and 2 Others v. Attorney General of Niger State and Another. The case with suit number ECW/CCJ/APP/18/14 was brought by the Islamic centre accusing the government of Niger State in Nigeria of violating its human rights following the ‘unlawful destruction of its properties.’

The adjournment of the case by the three-member panel of the Court comprising Vice President Chijioke Nwoke and Justices Micah Wilkins Wright and Yaya Boiro is to enable the defendants, respond to the amended application.

The centre is claiming unspecified damages for the unlawful destruction of its properties which included classrooms, fish ponds, houses and farm lands, the dispossession of legitimately acquired land and the arbitrary arrest and detention of the plaintiffs by officials of the defendants.

It also is seeking an order by the court reinstating its ownership of the land.

The plaintiff is alleging that this dispossession violated Articles 14, and 21 (1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other legal instruments relating to their right to own property, freedom of movement, and dignity of the human person.

The case was originally slated for hearing of the preliminary objection of the defendants but the panel of judges noted this has been overtaken by the motion by the plaintiffs seeking to amend their original application.

According to M.T. Mohammed, one of the Counsels representing the plaintiffs, the motion for amendment of its original application was filed to enable them include additional facts, clarify the roles of the officials involved in the alleged acts and additional names of people whose rights were allegedly violated.

Responding, the defendants requested for time to react to the motion. Accordingly, the matter was adjourned to September 22, 2015, for hearing.

— Jun 15, 2015 @ 01:00 GMT

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