Court fines police N15m over killing of 3 El-Zakzaky followers

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A federal high court in Abuja has awarded the sum of N15 million against the Nigerian police force over the killing of three members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).

In the judgment delivered on Monday, Taiwo Taiwo, the judge, also ordered the National Hospital in Abuja to release the three bodies deposited at the hospital’s mortuary.

Ahmad Musa, Ibrahim Abdullahi and Yusuf Abubakar Faska had filed a fundamental rights enforcement suit against the police, claiming the killing of their brothers, Mahdi Musa, Biliaminu Abubakar Faska and Suleiman Shehu, was an infringement of their rights to life and liberty.

The applicants alleged the deceased were killed on July 22, 2019 while on a peaceful protest to demand the freedom of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, their leader, and his wife, at the federal secretariat in Abuja.

They also asked the court to direct the police to issue an apology to the group in two national newspapers.

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The inspector-general of police is the first respondent while the medical directors of the National Hospital, and Asokoro District Hospital are both second respondent in separate suits.

The bodies of the deceased were said to have been deposited at the National Hospital.

Throughout the duration of the proceedings, the police never made legal appearances neither did they file any affidavit to counter the reliefs sought by the applicants.

The judge while delivering judgment, held that the rights of the dead men were indeed breached.

He ordered the respondents to pay N5 million as damages to each of the applicants, and release the bodies of the dead to them for burial.

But he did not grant the request that the Nigerian police should tender an apology in two national newspapers.

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