Breaking: Court Orders Immediate Release of El-Zakzaky, Awards N50m Against FG

The detained leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria also known as the Shi’ite, Sheik brahim El-Zakzaky, got a reprieve, Friday, as an Abuja High Court has ordered his immediate release from Army’s detention.
The court ordered that El-Zakzaky and his wife should be paid N25m each for the unlawful detention.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, delivering a joint judgment in the two rights enforcement suits filed by the two applicants, ordered that the government should provide a befitting accommodation for the applicants, their family members and followers who used to live with them before they were arrested.
Making the order, Justice Kolawole, said he would not accept the submission of the counsel to the Department of Security Service, Tijjani Gazali, that El-Zakzaky was being held because of threat to his life.
The counsel had argured that El-Zakzaky, Wife and children were in protective custody of the DSS and was for their safety.
But Justice Kolawole said such action was not known to law.
El-Zakzaky was arrested by the military on December 14, 2015, after a clash between the movement and officers of the Nigerian army.
El-Zakzaky approached the court to demand his release, months after he he was arrested without arraignment.
He asked the Court, through his counsels led by Femi Falana, to declare that his arrest and continued detention violated his fundamental rights.
Falana submitted that the court should declare that the continued detention of his client without charging him, was unlawful.
Justice Kolawole upheld the submission of the Falana, that the continued detention of El-Zakzaky was against the tenets of Fundamental Human rights as enshrined in the nation’s constitution.
“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 neigbourhood,” said the Judge.
He said the decision of the government to hold the applicant for so long amounted to great danger and illegality.
Citing the death of former leader of the Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf, the Judge said; “If the applicant dies in custody which I do not pray for, it could result in many needless deaths”.
Kolawole ordered the government to within 45 days release the applicant and his family to the Police, who shall within 24 hours take them, guarded by escort, to a safe place.
He also ordered the DSS to pay N25m each to El-Zakzaky and his wife, (N50m)for the long detention without trial.

Author: News Editor

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