Justice Peter Hoommuk Nallong of the Federal High Court 2, sitting in Kawo, Kaduna has granted the application by Global Rights (representative of American Bar Association), and the Open Society Justice Initiative and former United Nations envoy on Human Rights, Minai Kiai to join as amici curiae in the fundamental rights case of Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkalu against the Kaduna State Government.
Counsel to Odinkalu, Barr. Gloria Ballason, Esq, said: “The international NGOs are coming to advise the Court.” Adding that, “When there is any case that requires enlightenment the Court for fundamental rights case allows experts to come in. Basically, the International NGOs will be taking the Court through two germane issues: the freedom of speech and the right to due process of law. They will be providing direction and they will play the advisory as oppose to adversary role. There bias will be towards democracy and human rights and there interest is to clearly state the issues.”
It will be recalled that, Governor Nasiru El-rufai of kaduna State had previously filed a case against Professor Chidi Anselm Odinkalu, International Human Rights Activist and former Chairman, National Human Rights Commission of Nigeria, following an interview on a private TV station on the 16th Day of February, 2019 where he tasked El-rufai to proof the allegation, which he claimed 66 Fulanis were killed in a Village in Kajuru Local Government Area of kaduna State.
Shedding light on the matter, Ballason disclosed, the case against Odinkalu was instituted after Odinkalu called on El-rufai on the need to go to the scene where the alleged killings took place to verify these figures before going public.
Thesame allegation that the Commissioner of Police of kaduna State at that time debunked, yet kaduna State government went on and set a machinery at the court and started a criminal proceeding against the applicant without informing the applicant.
So, when we got the wind of it we went and applied at the Magistrate Court. We raised a preliminary objection, but then, the Magistrate Court overruled us and continue to perpetrate acts that were not in consonance with fair hearing and the rule of law. We then proceeded to the High Court where we sought for judicial review (Certiorari right) for the proceeding at the Magistrate Court.
But before we went to the High Court we filed for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of Odinkalu, his right to fear hearing, freedom of Speech and other rights that were breached.
Meanwhile, the case on fundamental rights of Odinkalu have been adjourned to 7th July for further hearing into the matter, which he is demanding compensation up to the tune of N950m from kaduna State government.