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Timeline of Chibok abduction  (June 9- June 13, 2014)

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Timeline of events around the abduction of over 200 girls from the Government Secondary School, Chibok in the past week…

MONDAY, JUNE 9, 2014

Abuja High Court fixes June 12  to hear case against Mbu

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday, June 9, 2014, fixed the hearing in the case involving BringBackOurGirls protesters in Abuja against the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Commissioner, Joseph Mbu for Thursday, June 12, 2014.

The group had on Tuesday, June 3, 2014, dragged Mbu before the court, over allegations of violation of human rights, following Mbu’s ban on all protests in the FCT. One of the leaders of the group, former education minister, Dr. Oby Ezekwesili, said that the group’s appearance in court on Thursday, June 12, would be symbolic and would send a message that nobody could trample on the rights of others.

Also speaking on the court case, former House of Representatives member, Hon. Dino Melaye, stated that unlike speculation that the court case would distract the group from its objectives, the case was rather a declaration that the police had no right to stop peaceful protests.

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11, 2014

A High Court sitting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, has ruled that the police lack the power to prevent protests against government’s inability to rescue the over 200 schoolgirls of the Government Girls’ Secondary School in Chibok, Borno State, abducted on April 14. Justice Abubakar Talba, presiding on the case, on Wednesday, June 11, 2014, declared that the Public Order Act, Cap. 382, Laws of Nigeria, 1990, which the police purportedly relied on, “does not authorize men of the NPF to disrupt rallies or processions on the abducted Chibok girls”.

The suit was filed by former House of Representatives member, Hon. Dino Melaye. He had gone to court to challenge the disruption of protest held in Abuja on May 9. The Judge described as unconstitutional the arrest of and assault on Hon. Melaye and other protesters by policemen on the said date.

The suit, which has the Inspector- General of Police (IGP) and the FCT Police Commissioner as defendants, was not defended by the respondents.

Chibok abduction protesters beaten in Anambra by suspected MASSOB members

The Anambra state leader of Civil Liberty Organization, a group that campaigns against the Chibok school girls abduction, was on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 allegedly beaten to coma as the group marched the streets in protest.

The attack was carried out by thugs believed to be members of the Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) as the protesters marched along the major roads of Onitsha. They were, however, attacked by about 20 MASSOB members at Post Office, Old Market Road, Onitsha.

The attackers, who allegedly wielded dangerous weapons, pounced on several protesters and injured many of them.

THURSDAY, JUNE 12, 2014

Abuja Court fixes July 14 for  judgment over ban on protests

An Abuja High Court on Thursday, June 12, 2014, adjourned judgment to July 14, 2014, in a suit challenging the ban on BringBackOurGirls protests in Abuja by the Commissioner of Police (CP), Mr. Joseph Mbu.

Before the matter was heard and adjourned for judgment, counsel representing the 17 applicants, who instituted the suit on behalf of their group, (Women for Peace and Justice), Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), dropped the prayer seeking N200 million as compensation against CP Mbu. Presiding judge, Justice S. E Aladetoyinbo, however, adjourned for judgment after hearing both parties’ arguments.

The applicants and their group engage in daily protests, calling on the Federal Government to intensify efforts towards rescuing the over 200 school girls abducted from Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State, by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram on April 14.

It would be recalled that Mr. Joseph Mbu had on June 2, 2014, placed a ban on all protests concerning the Chibok girls.

FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2014

Nigeria and Australia embroiled  in controversy over offer of assistance

Controversy has continued to trail Australia’s reported offer of assistance to rescue the Chibok school girls, as Nigeria has insisted it doesn’t any record of such offer.

Nigeria’s latest denial comes on the heels of reports of Australia’s insistence that it had conveyed its willingness to offer assistance. The Australian government, speaking through its embassy in Nigeria, stated that it made the offer through “normal diplomatic channels”. It further stated that the Nigerian government was yet to take up the offer.

The Research and Public Affairs Officer of the embassy, Okokon Odiongenyi, who issued the statement, was asked to mention the name of the Nigerian official through whom the offer was made. He, however, declined, saying he could not be specific. But the director, Public Relations of the Ministry of Information, Amedu Ogbole-Ode, said the ministry had no record of such an offer.

-MICAEL NWOKIKE

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