Saturday, 6 November 2021

Seized Passports: Court Hears El-Zakzaky, Wife N4bn Suit January 2022



Justice Inyang Ekwo of a Federal High Court in Abuja on Friday fixed January 19, 2022, for hearing in the N4bn suit filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenah, against the Department of State Services and Attorney-General of the Federation.

The Judge took the date to allow the defendants in the fundamental rights enforcement suit to respond to allegations levelled against them.


While El-Zakzaky and his wife were applicants in separate suits, the Director-General of the Department of State Services, Yusuf Bichi and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) were listed as first and second defendants in the case with Ref. No: FHC/ABJ/CS/ 229/2021 and FHC/ABJ/CS/230/2021.


The plaintiffs had each slammed a N2 billion suit challenging the seizure of their international passports by the Federal Government.


The Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules 2009 and Sections 44, 37,36 and 46 (1) and (2) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) was filed by Marshal Abubakar of Femi Falana chambers.

The plaintiffs had in their separate originating motion-on-notice were seeking from the Federal High Court a declaration that the seizure of their passport No A50578740 and A50578739 since May 2019 was illegal and unconstitutional as it violates their fundamental right to freedom of movement guaranteed by Section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended) and Article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Other demands were an order of the Court mandating the respondents to pay over to the applicants “the sum of N2bn as general and exemplary damages” for the violation of their “rights to freedom of movement, fair hearing and property” and an order of perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from further violating their “fundamental rights in any manner whatsoever and howsoever without lawful justification.”

The couple also wants a declaration from the Court that the Red Flag Travelling Restrictions placed on their passports and land borders “by the respondents without a court order is illegal and unconstitutional” as it violates his right to fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.



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