A Federal High Court sitting in Calabar, presided over by Justice A.F.A. Ademola had declared that De Norsemen Kclub (DNKI) is a legal organization under the Nigerian laws.
This was a fall out of the suit with the number, FHC/CA/M95/2010, some members of the organization in Cross River State after they were arrested and detained by the police on the sole grounds that they were members of the organization filed to enforce their fundamental human rights of freedom of assembly and association which they consider belonging to DNKI, a duly registered organization with the aim of rendering service to humanity is part.
It is on record that on the 15th of May, 2010, the Nigerian police in Calabar arrested 21 members of DNKI on the ground that they were members at their Cross River State Chapter Secretariat located at 38 MCC Road, Calabar.
The arrest was carried out after the organization’s usual saturday sporting activities that took place ironically at the Police Children Secondary School field in Calabar.
Consequently, the leadership of DNKI felt that they needed to put the records straight having in mind that DNKI is not an illegal entity but a duly registered organization with specific aims and objectives which are in line with the laws of the Nigerian land and that any person that meet the standard of recruitment into it is free to join and participate in its activities.
Therefore, its activities are lawful and aim to render service to humanity which coincidentally is its motto. It was based on this, the suit was filed at a Federal High Court, Calabar by the 21 arrested members.
In his ruling on the 1st day of July, 2010, Justice A. F. A. Ademola, declared that the applicants in the suit (i.e the 21 arrested members) have the right to freedom of peaceful assembly as well as the freedom of association with others and it is a universally recognized, justiceable and inalienable fundamental right.
These rights he stated include the right to join an organization like De Norsemen Kclub which he described as a registered body under Part C of the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), 1990.
He went further to state that there should be no restrictions on an individual’s fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association unless prescribed by law and necessary in the interest of national security, public safety for the prevention of crime, health, morality or freedom rights of others.
He cited the following authorities and cases to back up his declaration:
(i) Section 40 of the CFRN 1999
(ii) Article 10 (1) and 3 of the 1981 ACHPA
(iii) Akaniwo vs. Nsirim (1997) 9 NWLR (Part 520) 255 CA
(iv) Okafor vs. Asoh (1999) 3 NWLR (Part 593) 35 CA
In the course of delivering his judgement, he referred to exhibits KGA1 and KGA2 which are the constitution of and certificate of registration of De Norsemen Kclub respectively in the case and opined that there is no such evidence to the contrary before the court.
Thus, De Norsemen Kclub is a legal entity in which the applicants in the suit has the right to belong to in exercise of their fundamental human right of freedom of association and assembly with others.