The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has filed a suit against the Department of State Services (DSS), the Army and the Attorney General of the Federation over the continuous detention of their leader, Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
In the suit filed in Federal High Court in Abuja, the Shiites are also questioning the continuous detention of their leader’s wife, Zeenat and over 200 of their members by the DSS and the Nigerian Police Force.
The movement is also demanding a three billion Naira monetary compensation, as general and aggravated damages for the illegal violation of El-Zakzaky’s fundamental rights.
Members of the movement, through their lawyers, described the detention of El-Zakzak’s and his wife as ‘an infringement of their fundamental human rights to liberty and association’ as enshrined in the 1999 constitution and African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights.
Addressing journalists on Wednesday after filing the petition, the lawyers led by Mr Festus Okoye said the Director General of the DSS, the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Army Staff were among those included in the petition.
The group in the petition is asking the court to direct the DSS, Police or army to release El-Zakzaky and others being held in their custody.
Since their arrest after the December 12, 2015 bloody clash, they have not been charged.
After the clash between Shiites and soldiers that left several people dead in Zaria, Kaduna State, it has been series of blame game between the two warring parties.
Members of the Islamic movement have vowed not to appear before a commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna State government to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the incident.
They are insisting that they will not appear before the commission on the ground of not having confidence on the composition of its members.
A member of the movement’s legal team, Maxwell Kyon, was among some members of the group that visited Sheik El-Zakzaky in DSS custody in Abuja.
He gave a report on the state of health of the Shiites leader and his wife.
On Monday, a representative of the Kaduna State government told the Commission of Inquiry that at least 347 bodies suspected to be members of the group were buried in a mass grave after the clash.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria said the revelation made by the Kaduna State government contradicted the earlier submission by the Army that only seven people were killed.