Eromosele Abiodun and Segun Awofadeji in Bauchi
Lagos lawyer, Mr Femi Falana has again called on the federal government to urgently release the detained leader of the of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife, Zainab Elzakzaky whom he claims are facing serious health challenges.
In a petition to President Muhammadu Buhari personally signed by him, Falana pleaded with the president to direct the Department of State Security Service (DSS) to obey a Federal High Court order to release the couple.
This is just as the leader of IMN Bauchi State chapter, Ahmed Yusuf Yashi, has condemned the alleged killing of two of their members during their yearly procession Arbaeen trek in Kano last Sunday, vowing the families of the victims will never support the government in 2019.
Addressing newsmen at the NUJ Secretariat in Bauchi Wednesday, Yashi lamented that security forces under the All Progressive Congress(APC)- led government of President Muhammadu Buhari have allegedly killed over 1000 members since coming to power.
According to Falana, â€œOn December 2, 2016, the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court ordered the release of Sheik Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife, Hajia Zainab Elzakzaky from the illegal custody of the State Security Service. The court also awarded them reparation of N50 million and directed the Federal Government to provide a temporary accommodation for the couple since it was established that the Nigerian Army and the Kaduna state government had burnt and demolished their private residence located at Zaria in Kaduna State.
â€œIn your Excellencyâ€™s New Year message of January 1, 2017, you urge the members of the Shia Community to embrace peace and obey the laws of the land. At the same time, Your Excellency directed all law enforcement agencies in the country â€œto treat them humanely and according to the rule of law.â€ But in utter contempt of the aforesaid orders of the Federal High Court and in total disregard of Your Excellencyâ€™s directive, the State Security Service has refused to release the couple from illegal custody. Thus, the dangerous impression has been created by the State Security Service that the federal government does not operate under the Rule of Law.â€
He added, â€œIn case the Federal Government is not prepared to direct the State Security Service to comply with the orders of the Federal High Court we are compelled to urge Your Excellency to order the release of the couple on health grounds. Although Sheik Elzakzaky lost his left eye while he is on the verge of losing the right eye sequel to the brutal treatment meted out to him by the armed soldiers and the State Security Service has denied him foreign medical treatment recommended by the local specialists who had attended to him. Even the alternative arrangement put in place by the family of the Sheik to bring eye specialists from abroad to treat him in custody has equally been rejected without any legal justification.â€
He said the medical condition of Mrs Zainab Elzakzaky is by far worse than that of her husband.