A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to free leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, as well as members of his family. Zakzaky has been detained by the DSS since December 2015 when IMN members, also known as Shi’ites, clashed with Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.
According to the DSS, the Shi’ia leader was being kept in their custody for his own protection. But the Shi’ites have continued protests, demanding for his release, claiming that the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky was against his fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
At the court on Friday, the judge, Gabriel Kolawole, wondered what part of the law allows a person to be held in custody for his own protection.
He asked, “The decision to hold the applicant and his wife for their safety is based on which law? “I have not been shown any incident report or any complaint lodged by residents around the neighbourhood that the applicant has become a nuisance to his neighbourhood.”
He then ordered the DSS to hand Zakzaky over to the police. The judge directed that within 45 days, the DSS should release Zakzaky and his family to the police who would guard them at a safe place. olawole further awarded N50 million to him and his wife.