El-Zakzaky Demands N2bn Compensation for ‘Illegal Detention’

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  • Asks court to order his freedom

Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

The application for the enforcement of his fundamental rights filed by the leader of the Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, at a Federal High Court in Abuja could not go on on Monday because of the absence of the respondents, namely, the Department of the State Security, the police and the Attorney General of the Federation.

This compelled the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole to adjourn the case to June 18, 2016, for mention and for the respondents to appear even as El-Zakzaky is demanding a compensation of N2 billion for alleged unlawful detention.

He was arrested in December 2015 following a clash between the military and members of his sect in which hundreds of the sect’s members were killed.

In the motion filed on his behalf by Mr Femi Falana, SAN, Elzakzaky is asking the court for an order for the enforcement of his fundamental rights.

He is also asking the court to declare his continued detention for over five months without trial as illegal.

The grounds of the application include the following:
“That the arrest and detention of the defendant since December 14th, 2015 is unconstitutional and a violation of his rights to personal liberty, as enshrined in section 35 of the constitution;

“That the arrest and detention of the defendant since December 14th, 2015, without arraigning him before any court of law is unconstitutional and a violation of section 36 of the constitution; and

“That the detention of the defendant by the respondent since December 14, 2015 without access to his medical doctors is in violation of his fundamental rights to health and association, as enshrined in article 16 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights”.

The Shi’ite leader also asked the court to declare that his detention since December 14, 2015, without access to his family was a violation of his rights to freedom of association as enshrined in section 40 of the constitution.