Detained Shi’ite Leader, El-Zakzaky Asks Court to Order His Release

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Tobi Soniyi in Abuja

An 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 be heard yesterday because of the absence of the respondents namely, the Department of the State Services (DSS), 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 in court.

El-Zakzaky was arrested in December 2015 following a clash between the military and members of his sects in which hundreds of the sects members were killed.

In the motion filed on his behalf by Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), El-Zakzahy 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 14, 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 14, 2015, without arraigning him before any court of law is unconstitutional and a violation of section 36 of the constitution.
“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.
He wants the court to issue an order restrainting the respondents from further violating his rights.
He also wants the court to award the sum of N2billion to him as compensation for the violation of his rights.