Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has written to Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, demanding the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (otherwise called Shiites), Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and the cleric’s wife, Zeinab, from illegal custody.
In addition to the demand for the release of the couple, Falana also urged Osinbajo to “direct the Nigerian Army to investigate and prosecute the military personnel responsible for the brutal and callous massacre of the 347 members of the Shia community at Zaria in December, 2015.”
In a letter dated June 2, 2017, and addressed to Osinbajo, Falana also demanded the release of a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) from illegal detention.
Falana was the lawyer to El-Zakzaky and the cleric’s wife in their suit in which they obtained a December 2, 2016, judgment which ordered the release of the couple within 45 days.
In addition to the order for the release of the couple, the judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had also ordered the Federal Government to provide them with accommodation, their residence having been allegedly burnt down by the Army and the Kaduna State Government.
The court had also awarded N50million as compensation for the illegal arrest and detention of the couple.
However, the judgment was flouted and is still being violated by both the Department of State Services and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami (SAN), who were both respondents to the suit.
Falana told Osinbajo that apart from the DSS flouting the court order, El-Zakzaky had lost his right eye and could lose the second owing to lack of medical care in detention.
He added that in order to keep the couple incommunicado in custody, the authorities of the DSS had barred the detainees’ lawyers from seeing them.
El-Zakzaky, with his wife on one hand and Dasuki on the other hand, had been in the detention of the DSS under different circumstances since December, 2015.
Various courts had ordered their release but to no avail.
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