Popular constitutional lawyer, Mike Ozekhome has kicked against the proscription of Shiites group by a federal high court sitting in Abuja.
The lawyer described the court order as “highly discriminatory and unconstitutional, as was the case of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB.”
This was contained in a statement made available reporters in Abuja on Saturday in a reaction to the ruling of an Abuja Federal High Court which described the group on Friday as a terrorist organisation.
According to him, “what group could be more terrorist than the herdsmen and their known anchor, Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association that has held Nigeria down by the jugular for years, killing, maiming, burning, raping, turning Nigeria into a crimson field of bloodbath?”
He also pointed out that “until the government bans and outlaws these, it is certainly not serious.”
According to him, “they are demanding for the release of their leader still kept in government dungeon in spite of several court orders The Shiites group is a religious group, like the President’s Sunni group. It is not an association that could be banned.
Section 10 of the Nigerian Constitution makes Nigeria a secular state. You can’t ban religion, a people’s belief. There is also freedom of thought, conscience, and religion in section 38, while sections 40 and 41 allow for freedom of movement and association.”
Ozekhome lamented that it was unfortunate that the nation’s constitution “is ruthlessly being shredded by an intolerant and overbearing civilian dictatorship.”