The federal high court in Abuja today, 2 November,2016, ordered the Department of State Services (DSS) to release Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), as well as members of his family.
Zakzaky has been in DSS custody since December 2015 when IMN members, also known as Shi’ites, clashed with Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.
The DSS said that the Shi’ia leader was being held for his own protection.
But the Shi’ites continued demanding for his release, saying the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky was against their fundamental human rights enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
At the court on Friday, Gabriel Kolawole, the judge, 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.”
He then ordered the DSS to release Zakzaky to police custody.
The judge said within 45 days, the government should release Zakzaky and his family to the police who would guard them at a safe place.
He further awarded N50 million to him and his wife.