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Court Orders Dss To Release El-zakzaky Unconditionally

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BEVERLY HILLS, December 02, (THEWILL) – The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, on Friday, ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to unconditionally release the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Malama Zeatudden, from detention within 45 days.

El-Zakzaky has been in DSS custody since December 2015 when IMN members, also known as Shi'ites, clashed with the motorcade of the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna state. El-Zakzaky and wife was later arrested by soldiers after long hours' siege on his residence in Zaria on December 13, 2015.

The DSS had stated that the Shi'ia leader was being held for his own protection. But the sect continued demanding for his release, saying the continuous detention of their leader was against their fundamental human rights enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.

At the sitting of the court on Friday, the presiding judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole wondered what part of the law allows a person to be held in custody for his own protection.

“The decision to hold the applicant and his wife for their safety is based on which law?” he asked.

“I have not been shown any incident report or any complain lodged by residents around the neighbourhood that the applicant has become a nuisance to his neighbourhood.”

Justice Kolawole then proceeded to order 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.

He 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 N25 million as general damages to be paid to Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who must within 45 be released unconditionally to the Inspector General of Police, IGP, who was ordered to convey El-Zakzaky and his wife to the accommodation provided by the government.