Following the clarification by the Police High Command on the purported banning of all protests, in Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to demand for the rescue of the over 250 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped in Borno state, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign team, otherwise known as Abuja Family, yesterday said it intend to go ahead with its court proceedings today, on a N200 million suit it filed at the Federal High Court, in Maitama, challenging the legality of the hitherto FCT police declaration of ban on its activities.
Also, the group suspended its planned resumption of sit-out meeting at the Unity Fountain, in Abuja.
According to the group, the suspension was due to its decision to write the Inspector General of Police (IGP), for protection cover for the group, during its usual meeting, to demand the rescue of the abducted Chibok school girls.
In an email the group’s media officer, Rotimi Olawale, sent to its members, yesterday, the group said “in line with the advice from our legal counsel Femi Falana SAN, we are writing a letter (today) to the Inspector General of Police, seeking police protection going forward.
“We will be meeting in court tomorrow (Thursday); details of the court room number and time would be communicated later. Hence we will not be meeting today but tomorrow in court.”
It would be recalled that the FCT police authority had on Monday announced the ban, citing security concerns about the possible hijacking of the situation by insurgents and other criminal elements.
Consequently, the campaigners on Tuesday cancelled similar gathering at the Fountain, being the usual venue for their meeting, which they vacated following last week’s attack by members of a suspected government-sponsored rival group, seeking the release of the girls by their captors.
But, in what appears to be a subtle reversal on the said ban, the Force denied that it has not issued any order banning peaceful assemblies or protests anywhere in Nigeria.
The Force spokesman, Frank Mba, in a statement issued in Abuja, said it only issued advisory notice, enjoining citizens to apply caution in the said rallies, particularly in the FCT and its environs.