Federal High Court in Abuja has ordered the immediate release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky who is the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria also known as Shi’ites.
El-Zakzaky and his wife were detained by military operatives on December 14, 2015 following a clash between members of the group and military officers.
The clash resulted in the death of more than 300 Shi’ites.
Premium Times reports that following his detention, El-Zakzaky approached the court calling for his unconditional release.
He described his continued detention as a violation of his fundamental rights.
Femi Falana who represented El-Zakzaky asked the court to release the Shi’ite leader as he did not commit any offense to warrant his detention.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole who delivered the justice rejected the angle presented by Tijjani Gazali who is the counsel to the State Security Service that El-Zakzaky and his wife were kept in protective custody.
“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 said keeping El-Zakzaky in detention amount to grave danger and compared to the imprisonment of Mohammed Yusuf who died in detention.
“If the applicant dies in custody which I do not pray for, it could result in many needless deaths.”
Mr. Kolawole said the government should release El-Zakzaky and his wife within 45 days to the police who shall also release and protect them within 24 hours to a safe place.
The judge also ordered the payment of N25 million each to Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife, making N50 million by the SSS.