…by Nneoma Ndibe
The Nigerian government has been ordered to pay N50 million to the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife.
The directive was given by a Federal High Court sitting in Abuja Friday, December 2, following a fundamental human rights abuse against the plaintiffs by the counsel, Femi Falana.
In his ruling, the judge over the case, Gabriel Kolawole said the submission by the Department of State Services that El-Zakzaky and his wife Zainab were being held under protective custody was not based on law.
He said the defendants – the DSS, the police and the attorney general of the federation have failed to show the court any incident or complaint lodged by residents around El-Zakzaky’s neighbourhood.
“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 neighbourhood,” Mr. Kolawole said.
The judge added that, the decision of the government to hold the applicant for so long amounted to great danger.
Citing the incident surrounding the killing of the former leader of the Boko Haram leader, Mohammed Yusuf by the police, the judge said: “If the applicant dies in custody which I do not pray for, it could result in many needless deaths.”
He further directed the federal government to release El-Zakzaky and his wife within 45 days to the police, who shall within 24 hours take them, guarded by escort, to a safe place.
Mr. Kolawole ordered the DSS to pay a fine N50 million – N25 million each to Mr. El-Zakzaky and his wife.
On December 5, 2015, a clash between the convoy of the chief of army staff and members of the IMN in Zaria, Kaduna state led to the killing of many.
The leader of the group, his wife and some other members of the group were arrested and further detained by security agency.