Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
The Federal Government must release the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as the Shi’ite sect, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat, from the custody into an accommodation that must be provided within 45 days, a Federal High Court in Abuja ordered on Friday.
The sect leader and his wife arrested by the Army on December 14, 2015, have been in the custody of the Department of State Service since December 15, 2015.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole, delivering a joint judgment in the two rights enforcement suits filed by the two applicants, ordered that the government should provide a befitting accommodation for the applicants, their family members and followers who used to live with them before they were arrested.
The judge ordered that the accommodation must be provided in Zaria, Kaduna State, or in other part of the state or alternatively any other part of northern Nigeria within the 45 days period.
The judge awarded N25m each, totalling N50m, to the Shi’ite leader and his wife, for the violation of their rights by being held in unlawful custody since December 14, 2015.
The Shi’ite leader and his wife were arrested following the violent encounter between members of his sect and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State in December 2014.
The applicants alleged that they were brutally injured and their house destroyed by the Nigerian Army after the incident.