A human right activist and lawyer, Musa Kanoma, ESQ, has filed a law suit before the Zamfara state high court demanding an enforcement of fundamental right to education in the state.
The suit was filed on the 28th of August, 2017 and assigned to Court One of the Zamfara State High Court, being presided by Hon. Justice Kulu Aliyu, OFR, the Chief Judge of Zamfara State.
Documents made available to Naija News reveals that Kanoma filed the suit over what is described as the failure or refusal of the Zamfara state government to equip Zamfara State public schools with adequate and conducive classrooms, teaching materials, teaching equipment, qualified teachers and good salary with all necessary allowances and incentives for teachers amounts to breach of the rights to education of the people of Zamfara State Guaranteed by Article 17(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, CAP A9 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
A testimony by the legal practitioner state that;
“Thousands of Zamfara State indegenes could not pass SSCE or tertiary institution examinations as a result of poor educational background resulting from the inaction or insufficient action of the state movement.”
“There are no adequate special schools in the State for the education of the disabled (particularly blinds and deafs ).”
“Thousands of disabled persons (particularly deaf and blinds) are not in school for lack of any provision for them by the state government thereby exposing them to the risk of begging in the streets of the State.”
“The disabled are being discriminated upon by the failure of the state govement to provide them with the basic educational needs.
Those attending school are being fed with non-qualitative and non-quantitative education in the state.”
“An average teacher in a public school in the State is being paid about N20,000.00, monthly, living on about N600 daily for his/her meals, shelter, clothing, transportation etc.”
“The living condition of teachers in the state public institutions is poor thereby preventing them from effectively discharging their duties.”
“There are many public schools with a single teacher teaching all the subjects in the state.”
“Most Zamfara State public schools are understaffed and unequipped with libraries and other learning facilities” among many other issues.
Kanoma fears that if the application is not granted, the life of the people of Zamfara State would be in ruins and next generations may not pardon the present because their situation would be worse.
Naija News understands that on the 15th January, 2018, the court sat but the Respondents were absent and not represented by a counsel. The court adjourned the matter to 5th February, 2018 to give the Respondents another chance to appear. On the 5th February, 2018, Abubakar Bello, Esq. with A.S. Ajiya, Esq., appeared for the Respondents and applied for an adjournment to enable them file a defence out of time. The case was then adjourned to 6th March, 2018.
On the 6th March, 2018, the court could not sit because the Judge had traveled for official assignment, therefore, the case was adjourned to 16th April, 2018 on which the court, after hearing an application by Abubakar Bello, Esq. with A.S. Ajiya, Esq., granted a leave for the Respondents to file their defense within two weeks. The case is now adjourned to 4th June, 2018 for hearing.
This lawsuit is coming at a time when only 28 candidates from Zamfara State registered for the 2018 National Common Entrance Examination.
The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in a statement released in Abuja by the spokesperson of the Ministry of Education, Mrs. Priscillia Ihuoma, also said the Federal Government was worried about the low number of candidates seeking admission into its 104 colleges across the country.