Shi’ite Leader, El-Zakzaky, sues Nigerian govt. for prolonged detention

Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

The Leader the Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, on Monday instituted a suit in the Federal High Court against the federal government and the Nigerian military challenging his detention.

Mr. El-Zakzaky was arrested in December after a siege on his residence in Zaria, Kaduna State by soldiers. Several members of the group were also killed in the clash with the military.

In the motion, Mr. Elzakzachy prayed the court to compel the enforcement of his fundamental rights, stressing that his detention for over five months without trial was 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

“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 determine 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.

The judge, Gabriel Kolawole, adjourned the case till June 14.


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