A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to release leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, as well as members of his family within 45 days.
In addition, the court ordered that the detained sect leader and his family be released to the Nigeria Police who provide security for them.
Zakzaky has been detained by the DSS since December 2015 when IMN members, also known as Shi’ites, clashed with Nigerian army in Zaria, Kaduna state.
The DSS had explained that the Shi’ia leader was being kept in their custody for his own protection.
His controversial detention without. Ring charged to court has sparked off series of protest by members of the sect, both in Kaduna State and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, demanding for his release.
The protesters claimed that the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky was against his fundamental human rights as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who made the order wondered what part of the law allows a person to be held in custody for his own protection.
He asked, “The decision to hold the applicant and his wife for their safety is based on which law?
“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.”
The Judge then ordered the DSS to hand Zakzaky over to the police.The judge directed that within 45 days, the DSS should release Zakzaky and his family to the police who would guard them at a safe place.
Justice Kolawole further awarded N50 million to him and his wife.