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Falana sues Malami, others, seeks order to block resumption of Kaduna-Abuja train service

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 Falana sues Malami others seeks order to block resumption of Kaduna Abuja train service

Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has instituted a suit against Minister of Transportation over an attack on a train heading for Kaduna from the nation’s capital city, Abuja.

Recall that on March 28, 2022, terrorists planted explosives devices along the rail track and when the Abuja-Kaduna bound K9 train approached the point, the device exploded, causing the train to derail.

At least, eight persons were killed in the attack while many others were kidnapped.

Aside from the transportation minister, other respondents include the Attorney-General Of the Federation, Abubakar Malami (second) and Nigerian Railway Corporation (third).

READ ALSO :FG announces date for commencement of Abuja-Kaduna train service

In the suit, Falana told the Federal High Court in Abuja the Respondents are bound to secure the railway lines linking Kaduna state to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (and indeed all other railways lines in Nigeria) against armed attacks by Boko Haram terrorists, kidnappers and other dangerous armed groups before the resumption of services but failed.

The suit is also asking the court to stop the Respondents from “recommencing railways services on the Kaduna- Abuja route until adequate security and requisite gadgets are provided to ensure the safety and protection of lives and properties on the route”.

Muhammadu Buhari’s government has directed that train services along the route should resume on Monday, May 23.

Train services had been suspended on the route after terrorists attacked a train, fatally shot several persons, and abducted scores of passengers in March.

Most of those abducted are still in captivity.

The suit is also seeking an order mandating that the Respondents’ officials whose criminal negligence caused the bomb attack should be investigated and prosecuted.

The reliefs sought by the lawyer include, “A DECLARATION that every person living in Nigeria is entitled to the protection of their fundamental right to life guaranteed by Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“A DECLARATION that every person living in Nigeria is entitled to the protection of their property by virtue of Sections 15 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended and Article 14 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (Cap A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“A DECLARATION that the Respondents are bound to secure the railway lines linking Kaduna state to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja (and indeed all other railways lines in Nigeria) against armed attacks by Boko Haram Terrorists, kidnappers and other dangerous armed groups before the recommencement of railway transportation services.

“A DECLARATION that the brutal killing of unarmed passengers in the Abuja – Kaduna bound train by armed gangs/Boko Haram terrorists on the 28th day of March, 2022 is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the fundamental right of the deceased to life guaranteed by Section 14 (2) (b), 15 (3) (b), 33 and 43 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“AN ORDER mandating the Respondents to protect the lives and properties of every passenger plying the Kaduna- Abuja Railway lines (and indeed all other railway lines in Nigeria) by recruiting adequate security personnel and security gadgets to guard and protect every of such passengers utilizing the public railway transportation system in Nigeria.

“AN ORDER mandating that the Respondents’ officials whose criminal negligence caused the bomb attack on the Abuja-Kaduna train on March, 28, 2022 should be investigated and prosecuted.

“AN ORDER mandating the Respondents to forthwith secure the release of all the persons kidnapped in the Abuja to Kaduna bound train who were kidnapped by suspected Boko Haram terrorists/kidnappers on the 28th day of March, 2022 and to give weekly reports on the progress of rescue.

“AN ORDER mandating the Respondents to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of the chilling attack on the Abuja- Kaduna bound train on March 28, 2022.

“AN ORDER PROHIBITING the Respondents from recommencing railways services on the Kaduna- Abuja route until adequate security and requisite gadgets are provided to ensure the safety and protection of lives and properties on the route.

“And any other order (s) this Honourable Court may deem fit to make. By virtue of Sections 33 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter, every person living in Nigeria is entitled to their right to life.

“By virtue of Section 14 of the Constitution, the Defendants are under a duty to defend and protect the life and property of every person living in Nigeria.

“The failure of the Respondents to prevent the reckless and incessant killing of Nigerians by armed gangs/herdsmen is a flagrant violation of Sections 33 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 4 of the African Charter which guarantees their right to life.

“The failure of the Respondents to prevent the wanton destruction of lives and properties of Nigerians and foreigners plying the Abuja Kaduna train is a flagrant violation of Section 43 and 44 of the 1999 Constitution and Article 14 of the African Charter which guarantees their right to life and security of the person.”

Also, a letter signed by Mrs Funmi Falana of the Falana & Falana Chambers, dated May 20, and sent to the Minister of Transportation notified him of the “pending suit and demand to suspend the proposed reopening of the Abuja-Kaduna train services pending the hearing and determination of the said suit in line with the doctrine of lis pendens”.

“TAKE NOTICE that the issue as to the recommencement or otherwise of the Kaduna to Abuja train services is now subjudice, in the same vein, the courts in Nigeria have always condemned any interference with the judicial process and have repeatedly frowned on any action of the parties that is capable of affecting the subject matter of pending suits,” the letter said in part.

(SAHARAREPORTERS)

vanguard (nigeria)

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