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Court adjourns to give judgement on Police alleged extra-judicial closure of Mosque

Wole Adedeji, Ilorin

The Federal High Court sitting, in Ilorin, Kwara State, has adjourned for judgement in the suit filed against the Police and two others by an Islamic Sect, in Lafiagi area of the state over an alleged extra-judicial closure of a mosque.

The court’s presiding judge; Hon. Justice Mohammed Sanni, after hearing the submissions of counsels on both sides said the court was adjourning to give judgement and that the court would communicate the lawyers when it is set deliver the judgement.

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There had been a concentric chain of bloody clashes between the Jama’atu Ahlu Sunnah Salafi-yat Islamic group and Tijanitah Movement both in Lafiagi, Edu Local Government Area of Kwara State where the latter was alleged to be the aggressor since the year 2005 inflicting bodily harms on the former on each occasion.

The applicant sect in the suit alleged that the matter got to the climax on the 11th and 12th  November, 2022 when the rival sect allegedly under the directives of their leaders trespassed into their Masjid Mosque by 7:00p.m. during a congregational service and attacked worshippers causing grievous hurts on them without provocations and that the wounded were later rushed to the hospital.

However, members of the Jama’atu Ahlu Sunnah Sakafi-yat mosque were said to be more aggrieved with the alleged manner the Lafiagi Divisional Police Officer handled the matter by moving on to put their mosque under locks since November 12, 2022, without any judicial process to do so, according to their lawyer, Barr. Adeleye T. Smith.

Barr. Smith had, at the hearing, told the court that his clients, as a mark of respect for Justice Sanni’s admonition to the parties to try an amicable resolution of the matter, gathered at an agreed location in Lafiagi for a peaceful meeting only to be attacked again by members of their rival group.

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After two adjournments where the lawyers submitted written address by Barr. Smith and counter address by the police lawyer; Barr. A. A. Aladejare, the Presiding Judge, after adopting the addresses adjourned the case to a date not yet announced but promised to communicate with the counsels later, the date eventually fixed for judgement.

It would be recalled that the Inspector General of Police, the Kwara Commissioner of Police and the Lafiagi Divisional Police Officer (DPO) along with the two leaders of Tijaniyah Movenent; Musa Ndagi and Gimba Alhassan were sued to the Federal High Court for alleged assault, damages and trespass related offences and extra judicial application by the police on the matter. The applicants were demanding for a N50 million damages, among others.