The absence of representatives of the Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) who are 1st and 2nd respondents in a case filed before the Federal High Court in Kaduna by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) seeking to enforce the fundamental rights of their leader, his wife and other members that lost their lives and properties in the December 12th and 14th clash stalled the court sitting Wednesday.
The representative of the IMN, Maxwell Kyon told the court that the respondents in the case had been duly served with the hearing notice on 12th May, 2016 adding that the recommended days as enshrined by law for their response had expired.
However, the counsels to the 3rd and 4th respondents, the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Attorney General of Kaduna state, Enoch Simon and Dari Bayero were present at the sitting.
Counsel to the AGF explained that he had been served the counter affidavit of the case with regards to the leader of IMN, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky Tuesday and requested time to respond to it. He also craved the indulgence of the court for a short adjournment to file their affidavits and serve the other repondents with respect to the case of Zeenatuddeen, Zakzaky’s wife.
The Presiding Judge, Justice Saleh M. Shuaibu struck out the application by counsel to IMN to continue with the sitting, while he granted the prayer of the 3rd respondent for time to file their affidavit.
Justice Saleh said in a case claiming damages of N2billion, Justice cannot and should not be sacrificed at the alter of speed. “We will give you time within which to react. We will serve the Nigerian Army and the COAS with hearing notices again, and if they do not react, we cannot wait for them indefinatelly.
He, however, adjourned the case to 7th June, 2016 for hearing and emphasised that hearing notice will be issued to the 1st and 2nd respondents forthwith.