By Abdulmumin Giwa
Kano state High Court has granted two out of five reliefs brought before it by the Shia community in the state under the auspices of All Jafariyya Development Association against the Kano state government and the Police.
Reading the judgment, Justice M. Namalam granted the two reliefs stating that by virtue of the association being duly registered, its members have the right to practice their religious beliefs as contained in the constitution.
He also stated that neither the Kano state government nor the Nigerian Police have any right to interfere in whatever manner with the practices of the association so long as they do not violate any law of the land.
The other reliefs not granted include the complain that the police have violated the rights of the Shias in the state by interfering on their activities in October and November 2016 where the police carrying heavy arms clampdown on the group’s peaceful protest killing some and injuring several others.
The judge gave his reason for refusing to grant this relief saying that the complainants refused to seek the protection of the police during their peaceful protest.
More so, the second relief he refused was that of an alleged statement made by the chief executive of the state, Governor Abbdullahi Ganduje, which depicted discrimination and culpability in the killings of the members of the said association by the police.
Considering that the two reliefs were not granted the judge also refused to grant the group the N500m compensation they sorted.
Responding on the judgment, the Counsel to the complainants, Barr Saleh Muhammad Bagaru expressed displeasure over the refusal to grant the remaining three reliefs despite furnishing the court with enough evidences.
“We are going to confer and seat with my clients and if they see any need to go ahead with the case then we will appeal” he stated
In her response, the state Counsel, Barr Halima Y Ahmad expressed delight that the court refused to grant the three reliefs. She said it is the constitutional rights of every citizen to practice the religion of his choice, to assemble and to move about but her argument is that the complainants cannot stage peaceful protest without informing the police for protection.
“What we are saying is that they cannot perform their function, that is procession without informing the first respondent, that is the commissioner of police, they should have written to him, seek for his protection in order to prevent any chaos in respect of the gathering” she stated.