El-Zakzaky Sues Government For 2 Billion Naira Over Illegal Detention


Leader of the Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has sued the Government demanding a compensation of N2 billion for alleged unlawful detention.  A Federal High Court in Abuja could not proceed with the hearing on Monday because of the absence of the respondents namely, the Department of State Security, The Police and the Attorney General of the Federation.


This compelled the trial judge, Justice Gabriel Kolawole to adjourn the case to June 18, 2016, for mention and for the respondents to appear before the court. El- Zakzaky who was arrested in December 2015 following a violent clash between members of his sect and the convoy of the Chief Of Army Staff Gen. Tukur Buratai.

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In the motion filed on his behalf by Mr Femi Falana, SAN, El-Zakzaky is asking the court for an order for the enforcement of his fundamental rights. He is also asking the court to declare his continued detention for over five months without trial as illegal.


The grounds of the application include the following:

That the arrest and detention of the defendant since December 14th, 2015 is unconstitutional and a violation of his rights to personal liberty, as enshrined in section 35 of the constitution;


“That the arrest and detention of the defendant since December 14th, 2015, without arraigning him before any court of law is unconstitutional and a violation of section 36 of the constitution; and

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“That the detention of the defendant by the respondent since December 14, 2015 without access to his medical doctors is in violation of his fundamental rights to health and association, as enshrined in article 16 of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights”.


The Shi’ite leader also asked the court to declare that his detention since December 14, 2015, without access to his family was a violation of his rights to freedom of association as enshrined in section 40 of the constitution.