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Court Orders Police to Pay N200m for Shooting and Killing Two Shiites in Soba, Kaduna State

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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 while on an Islamic procession on August 28, 2022, in Soba, Kaduna State.

Justice Hawa Buhari, in a judgment on Monday, 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 Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009; Article 4, 8, 10, 11, and 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights 2004 are hereby enforced.”

The judge held that the sum of N100 million must be paid to each applicant, making a total of N200 million, as compensation and general damages. This amount would attract a 10 percent interest per annum until fully paid.

Justice Buhari, in the judgment, consolidated the two separate suits filed by the two next-of-kin 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) shall be paid to each parent of the deceased as compensation and general damages with a 10% interest per annum 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 rights,” she declared.

It would be recalled that two applicants, Iliyasu Bashir and Ahmad Sa’ad, had filed the suits marked FHC/KD/CS/144/2022 and FHC/KD/CS/142/2022 before the court.

They alleged that on August 28, 2022, 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 the 1st to 4th defendants respectively.

The applicants, in the motions on notice dated and filed on 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 a religious procession was illegal, unconstitutional, and a 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’ Rights Act Cap A9 LFN, 2004.

They, therefore, prayed to the court for an order mandating the respondents, jointly and severally, to pay them the sum of N200 million each for the 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 the same in two national dailies circulating in northern Nigeria.

However, 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 opposing the suits. But Justice Buhari agreed with the submission of the applicant’s counsel and assumed jurisdiction over the matter.

It would be recalled that Justice Buhari had equally ordered the police authorities, on April 22, 2024, to pay a cumulative sum of N300 million to three family members of three Shiite members killed by its officers while on an Islamic procession on August 8, 2022, in Zaria City of Kaduna State.

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