El-Zakzaky heads to the Courts, demands N2b damages

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By; Amos Tauna, Kaduna.

The counsel to the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, has petitioned the Federal High Court, Abuja demanding for the immediate and unconditional release of the leader of the movement, Sheikh EL-Zakzaky from custody of the Army and State Security Service.

The legal counsel has also asked the court to pay to the leader of IMN the sum of N2billion as general demages for the illegal violation of his fundamental rights to life, dignity of his person, fair hearing, privacy and private property.

Addressing newsmen in Kaduna, Wednesday, Barrister Festus Okoye said the petition at High Court was on the fundamental rights action filed on behalf of the leader of the movement.

He added that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria now walks with a limp, adding that the left eye of the leader of the movement was completely damaged.

He explained that the left hand of the leader of the movement has also lost its motor functions.

He stressed, “The continued detention of the Islamic leader from 14th day of December, 2015 till date without charging him to court before a properly constituted court of law is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental human rights to fair hearing as enshrined in section 36 (5) of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) laws of the federation of Nigeria 2004.

“That the arrest of the leader of the movement on 14th day of December, 2015 and his detention till date without access to his medical doctor is unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental rights to personal liberty and health as enshrined in section 35 of the constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria, (as amended) and articles 6 and 22 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10) Laws of the federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

He expressed dismay with the extra judicial killing of the leader’s three children and hundreds of other members of the movement by the armed soldiers, adding that the arrest of El-Zakzaky without warrant in his home at No. 1 Wali road, Gyallesu, Zaria by armed soldiers was a flagrant violation of his fundamental rights to privacy and private property guaranteed by section 35 (1) (4) (6) of the constitution of Nigeria.

Speaking on the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government, he said, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria expressed his reservations about the movement putting his appearance before the commission of inquiry particularly considering the composition of the commission and the fact that the Nigerian Army is a federal institution that is not subject to the control of the Kaduna State government and its agencies.

“During our conference with the leader of the Islamic movement of Nigeria, we notified him of the fact that the Kaduna State government has set up a judicial commission of inquiry to look into the remote and immediate causes of the Army/Shi’ite clash and also of the fact that scores of members of the Movement lost their lives during the clash while over 200 of them are in prison custody on allegations of attempted murder of the Chief of Army Staff.

“He instructed us to challenge the composition of the Commission and its impartiality in court and also instructed that we file an application to enforce his fundamental rights which we agreed has been and are still being infringed upon by his continued detention without trial and without his having been informed of the basis upon which he was being detained.

“On the 12th day of April 2016, we filed 2 originating motions before the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja on behalf of the leader of the Islamic Movement and his wife; Zeenat.

Joined in the said originsting summons are the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff,  the Department of State Services (DSS), the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation seeking identical reliefs for both applicants,” he observed

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