The Federal High Court sitting in Abuja, today, fixed a date for the hearing of the N2billion suit the detained leader of the Shi’ite Islamic sect, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky slammed on the Federal Government challenging his continued detention in the custody of the government since December 14, 2015.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, who fixed the hearing for June 14 directed that relevant court papers be served on the ttorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN and the other respondents involved in the case- Department of State Services, DSS, and the Nigerian Police Force.
El Zakzaky, through his team of lawyers led by Femi Falana, SAN petitioned the court to enforce his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, dignity of human person, right to private and family life and private property.
Zakzaky’s suit marked FHC/CS/128/2016, was hinged on sections 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 40, 41 and 46 (1) & (2) of the amended 1999 Constitution, as well as on Articles 4, 5, 6, 11 and 12(1) of the African Charter on Human & Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, LFN, 2010.
The religious leader also asked the court to rule that “the detention of the applicant at Abuja by the respondents since December 14, 2015, is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental rights to personal liberty as enshrined in section 35 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, and Article 6 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act (CAP A10), Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”
Falana is arguing before the court that the continued incarceration of El Zakzaky without being charged before a competent court in the country is a violation of his right to fair hearing as found in section 36 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended while also contending that his client lost one of his eyes due to the treatment meted out to him by security operatives acting in capacity as the Federal Government.
The lawyer also told the court that the detained Sh’ite leader was denied access to his medical doctors, family members and relatives and wants “an order directing the immediate and unconditional release of the applicant from the custody of the 1st and 2nd respondents.
“An order restraining the respondents from further violating the applicants fundamental rights in any manner whatsoever and howsoever without lawful justification.
Also, “An order compelling the respondents, jointly and severally to pay the applicant the sum of N2billion as general and aggravated damages for the illegal violation of his fundamental rights to personal liberty, dignity of person, fair hearing, health, freedom of movement an freedom of association”.
El Zakzaky was arrested following a bloody skirmish between members of his sect and officers of the Nigerian Army on December 14, 2015 which reportedly left over 900 of the Shi’ite sect members dead in Zaria.