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Boko Haram: CLO, Hausa Leader Drag Enugu State Government To court Over Imposition of Identity Cards On Northerners

FROM IGNATIUS OKPARA, Enugu

….Demands 50 Billion For Damages.

The Civil Liberties Organisation(CLO) and a leader of Northern Community in Enugu State,  Alhaji

Mohammed Lawan Ayagva have dragged the Enugu state government to court over alleged imposition of identity cards on all Northerners  resident in Enugu.

The Human rights organisation  and the Hausa leader are praying the court in the suit entitled “: Alhaji Mohammed Lawan Ayagva( Suing on behalf of himself and Northern Community resident in Enugu) & Civil Liberties Organisation Vs Attorney General of Enugu State”

“Alhaji Hammed Garba (Special Adviser to the Governor of Enugu State on Inter-community matters & 4 others Suit No. FHC/EN/M/106/2014″ for a declaration that the act of the 1st and 2nd Respondents in making a policy which imposes the collection of identity cards only on the applicants and all citizens of Nigeria of Northern Nigeria extraction (both male and female) resident in Enugu rights”

That it “constitutes a flagrant violation of the 1st applicants’ fundamental rights guaranteed under sections 41 and 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999(as amended) and Articles 2 & 12, of the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, (Ratification and Enforcement Act) Cap. A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and is therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void”

They are also asking the court in the suit which  was filed at the Federal High Court Enugu to declare that the collection of levies by the respondents from all citizens of Nigeria of Northern Nigeria extraction (both male and female) resident in Enugu for the purpose of procurement of identity cards for them, constitutes a flagrant violation of the 1st applicants’ fundamental rights, guaranteed under section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 and Article 2, of the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights, (Ratification and Enforcement Act) Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and is therefore illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

They are equally  praying  for an order of perpetual injunction retraining the Respondents, whether by themselves, their agents or privies from further harassing, intimidating, trailing, scaring, arresting or

detaining the 1st Applicants and the entire Northern community resident in Enugu.

The suit, filed by the South East Zonal Director of the CLO, Olu Omotayo is also asking the  Court to  direct and Compel the respondents to refund all funds collected by way of levies for the procurement of identity cards for all citizens of Northern Nigeria extraction (both male and female) resident in Enugu.

The CLO, alleged  in the suit that  about N12.2 Million Naira (Twelve Million two hundred thousand Naira only) have so far been collected from the northerners and urged the court to ask persons involved to refund the funds.

Omotayo, is also asking for N50 Billion Naira as exemplary, punitive, aggravated, special andgeneral damages against the Respondents.

The Applicants also filed an Ex-Parte Motion where they prayed the court to grant an interim Injunction restraining the respondents from taking further steps in connection with this matter or maintaining status quo or staying all actions pending the determination of the application.

However, a statement made available to reporters in Enugu by Omotayo recalled that after a meeting of the members of the Northern community resident in Enugu, the Northern leaders had informed the Special Adviser on inter-community matters that the policy which is targeted at only citizens from the northern part of the country resident in Enugu statewas  unacceptable.

It alleged further that government officials “instead resorted to threat to force the Northern community both male and female to buy the forms to obtain the identity cards by threatening them that anybody who refuses to obtain the identity card will be fined N5,000 (Five thousand naira only) and termed Boko haram member”.

 

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