El-Zakzaki-court fixes 30th March for judgement over passport refusal
February 22, 2023 2 MIN READ
A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed March 30 for judgment in a separate suits filed by leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenah, against Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and others, over alleged refusal to issue them new international passports.
Justice Obiora Egwuatu fixed the date after counsel for the applicants (El-Zakzakys), Marshall Abubakar, and lawyer to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), Abubakar Shaibu, including the Department of State Services (DSS)’s lawyer, Abbas Olayiwola, adopted their processes for and against the suit.
The NIS and its Comptroller General, listed as 1st and 2nd defendants in the suit, were not represented in court though they filed counter affidavit.
It would be recalled that El-Zakzaky and wife had in January 2022 sued the NIS and its Comptroller General as 1st and 2nd defendants for alleged refusal to issue new international passports to them.
In the suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/22/2022 filed by their lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, the duo prayed the court to enforce their fundamental rights enshrined in the Nigerian constitution and the African Charter of Human and Peoples Right.
They prayed the court to declare that the alleged refusal of the NIS to process their travel documents to enable them travel abroad for medical treatment was illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.
But counsel for the NIS, Jimoh Adamu, had denied the allegations of refusal to issue new passport to the couple, saying his office was conducting investigations.
Adamu had, on February 2022, approached the court with a motion for joinder praying the court to join the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and DSS in the suit.
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Justice Egwuatu, who granted the request, ordered El-Zakzaky to joined NIA and DSS in the matter.
Meanwhile, in the amended suit filed by lawyer to El-Zakzaky and wife, NIA and DSS are listed as 3rd and 4th defendants respectively.
Upon resumed hearing on Wednesday, Abubakar, who appeared for the El-Zakzakys, informed the court that the 1st and 2nd defendants were not in court despite being served with hearing notice.
The lawyer, who adopted their amended originating motion, prayed the court to grant all their reliefs.
Shaibu and Olayiwola, who represented the NIA and DSS respectively, adopted their processes too and urged the court to struck out their names from the charge and dismiss the two suits for being incompetent, having failed to disclose a cause of action against them.
Justice Obiora, after listening to the lawyers’ arguments, fixed March 30 for judgment.