Bring Back Our Girls: Ezekwesili, Uwais, 15 Others Drag CP Mbu To Court
Seek N2m Damages
BEVERLY HILLS, CA, June 03, (THEWILL) - A former Education Minister, Obiageli Ezekwesili; wife of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Maryam Uwais, and 15 other 'Bring Back Our Girls' protesters, Tuesday, dragged the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Commissioner of Police , Joseph Mbu, before a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, alleging a violation of their rights by banning protest in the FCT.
Praying the court to declare Mbu's action illegal, they filed an application for enforcement of their fundamental human rights through their counsel, Deji Morakinyo of Falana and Falana Chambers, maintaining that the order of the FCT Commissioner of Police violated their rights to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association guaranteed by Sections 38,39 and 40 of the Constitution and Articles 8,10,11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
Describing themselves as members of a group of well-meaning Nigerian women and men under the auspices of the, 'Women for Peace and Justice#BringBackOur Girls', the applicants asked the court to declare that the decision to ban protests and rallies in the FCT with effect from Monday, June 1 is illegal, unconstitutional, null and void as it violated their fundamental rightsâ€Ž to freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association guaranteed by Sections 38,39 and 40 of the Constitution and Articles 8,10,11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
They also prayed the court to declare that the FCT Police Commissioner was not competent â€Žto ban protests and rallies in Abuja without an order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction.
They sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the FCT police commissioner from further preventing â€Žthem or aggrieved Nigerians from taking part in protests and rallies in exercise of their freedom of conscience, expression, assembly and association as guaranteed by Sections 38,39 and 40 of the Constitution and Articles 8,10,11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act.
They also asked the court to award against Mbu the sum of N2million as damages for violating their fundamental human rights.
One of the applicants, Hadiza Bala Usman, in an affidavit she deposed to, narrated what informed their open protest. She disclosed that they have been protesting for the past 31 days to draw attention to the plight of the over 200 school girls abducted from Chibok Secondary School, Borno State, saying it was their campaign and protests that drew attention of the world to the plight of the abducted girls which led to the intervention of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and the United Nations.
According to Usman, on Monday 26th, and Tuesday 27th May , they noticed patterns of escalating aggression toward them by a new group following which they wrote to the Inspector General of Police, asking him to send his men to reprimand the aggressive group.
'On Wednesday 28th May 2014 at about 4:15pm thugs, hooligans, miscreants dressed in red, yellow and white t-shirts with the inscription '#ReleaseOurGirlsBoko Haram'' burst upon our group breaking chairs and bottles on the heads of members of#BringBackOurGirls,Abuja,' she said. However, the case has not been assigned to any judge.