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Court Orders Shiites Leader Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s Release

Channels Television  
Updated December 2, 2016

Ibraheem Zakzaky, court, ShiitesA Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the leader of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, within 45 days.

In his judgment, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, ordered the Federal Government to provide an accommodation for El-Zakzaky, his wife and family members within Kaduna State or any part of the northern region.

The court declared the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky since December 13, 2015 as unlawful and illegal since the issue of protective custody was unknown to law or the National Security Agencies Act establishing the DSS.

The court further awarded the cost of 25 million Naira as general damages to be paid to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who must be released unconditionally to the Inspector General of Police (IGP) within 45 days.

The IGP is also ordered to convey El-Zakzaky and his wife to the accommodation provided by the government.

The court also awarded 25m damages to Mrs Zakzaky, making a cumulative of 50 million Naira as general damages.

Sheikh El-Zakzaky was arrested by soldiers after long hours’ siege on his residence in Zaria on December 13, 2015.

One of his followers confirmed his arrest to Channels Television.

“I saw armoured tanks demolishing the Hussainiyya shrine and the residence of Sheikh El-Zakzaky,” he said.

The Nigerian Army and members of the sect have accused each other of instigating attacks that led to the death of members of the movement few days before his arrest.

After his arrest, the DSS said the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is being detained at his own will.

The DSS had made the statement in defence of accusations by the council to the leader of the Shiites that his rights were being violated.

Counsel to the DSS, Mr Tijani Gazali, told reporters that the Shiite leader was held by security operatives at his own will and for his benefits.

Mr Gazali said: “He needs not give his consent because it is the duty of the DSS to protect every Nigerian especially one who is as vulnerable as the shite leader is at the moment”.

The group was outlawed by the Kaduna State Government in October in line with the advice of a panel set up to investigate the clash between the group  and the military.

A statement issued by the spokesman for the state governor, Samuel Aruwan, said the government secured an order from the State Executive Council to ban the Islamic Movement from either existing or operating in the state with immediate effect.

In proscribing the group, the government invoked Section 45 (1) of the Nigerian Constitution which empowers the state Governor to take such measures and actions for the promotion and protection of public safety, public order, public morality or public health, or the rights and freedom of all persons in the State.

The statement further explained that the action was to ensure that all persons and organisations were guided by lawful conduct and with due allegiance to the Nigerian state and its Constitution.