From: WOLE BALOGUN, Ado-Ekiti
Masqueraders in Ikun-Ekiti, in Gbonyin Local Government Area of Ekiti State were, on Tuesday, dragged to court by the incorporated trustees of National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations, over an attack on Muslims of Ansarudeen Central Mosque, in the community on May 30 that left worshippers injured.
The attack took place at sunset around 7pm when the Muslims had gathered in the mosque to observe the Maghrib prayer after breaking their Ramadan fast.
It was gathered that the masqueraders were irked that the Muslims had the gut to call for prayers when they were still celebrating their Egungun festival.
The masqueraders are Obee Atokun Agba, Saje Alarawo, Dada Owarunkun, Ojo Edisun and Segun Aderupoko
Also joined in the suit filed before the Federal High Court, Ado Ekiti, is the traditional ruler of the town, Oba David Olusola.
The Muslim community accused the Onikun of Ikun (Oba Olusola) of supervising the attack on them.
The plaintiff is seeking N20 million as compensation for the assault and injuries inflicted on the Muslims and another N5m as special and exemplary damages for the destruction of the mosque and valuables of the worshippers during the attack.
The Motion on Notice was brought pursuant to Order II Rules 1, 2, & 3 of the Fundamental Right (Enforcement procedure) Rules 2009; Sections 34 (1)(a); 35, 38 and 41 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended) and Articles 5, 8, 11 & 12 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP 10) Laws of the Federation under the inherent jurisdiction of the court.
The plaintiff is seeking a declaration that the invasion of the mosque by the Respondents and their agents (being the devotees of Ajagunmole Masquerade) “is unlawful, illegal, wrong and a derogation of the Fundamental Human Rights of the Muslims of Ikun Ekiti to dignity of human person, freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
They also sought a declaration that the cultural practice of Ikun Ekiti during the masquerade festival whereby women of Ikun Ekiti are restrained indoors and prohibited from moving about from sunset to dawn is illegal, unlawful and an infringement on the Fundamental Human Right to freedom of movement and personal liberty of the Ikun Ekiti Muslim women.
*An order restraining the Respondents, their agents, privies, cronies etc. from further invasion of the mosque of the Ikun Ekiti Muslim Community and banning the Respondents and their agents from further assault of the Muslims of Ikun Ekiti during the performance of their religious obligations and/or at all times.
*An order mandating the Respondents to only observe their Ajagunmole Egungun Festival in such a way and form as it will not disturb, interfere and collide with the free and uninterrupted worship of the Muslim Community of Ikun-Ekiti.
The plaintiff prayed the court to declare that the letter of the Onikun of Ikun-Ekiti (Oba Olusola) of May 26, 2017 to the Ikun-Ekiti Muslim Community requesting the restraint of Muslim Women of Ikun-Ekiti indoors from 6:30pm of May 30, 2017 to the dawn of May 31, 2017 is an invasion of the freedom of movement of the Muslim women and as such wrong, illegal, unlawful, null and void.
*A declaration that the wanton and monumental destruction of the Ansar–ud–deen Central Mosque of Ikun-Ekiti and the vehicles of the members of Ikun Ekiti Muslim Community by the Respondents and their agents are barbaric, unlawful, illegal and wrong.
*An order directing the Respondents to pay the sum of N20m to the Muslim Community of Ikun-Ekiti for the unwarranted distortion of their worship and the assault of her members which resulted in serious bodily injuries.
*AN ORDER mandating the Respondents top pay the sum of N5m as special and exemplary damages to the Muslim Community of Ikun Ekiti for the brutal destruction of her Ansar–ud–deen mosque and the valuables of members.
*AN ORDER mandating the Respondents to tender a public apology to the Muslim Community of Ikun-Ekiti via two national daily newspapers for the unwarranted infringement on the rights of the Muslims of Ikun- Ekiti to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; dignity of human person; personal liberty; and right to freedom of movement.