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Zaria Clash: El-Zakzaky drags FG, Army, others to Court  …… Demands 3bn as Damages

Zaria Clash: El-Zakzaky drags FG, Army, others to Court 
…… Demands 3bn as Damages

By ALEX UANGBAOJE

The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ite sect, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky who is still under custody has dragged the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and others to the Federal High Court, demanding for N3bn as general damages.

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Others dragged sued alongside the Army and its chief are Director General State Security Services (SSS), Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to court as 1st-5th respondents.

In the suit with No FHC/ABJ/CS/247/16 the IMN leader through his counsels, Femi Falana SAN, Festus Okoye Esq, Maxwell Kyon Esq among others is seeking the enforcement of his fundamental rights to life, personal liberty, freedom of movement, dignity of the human person and right to private and family life.

A copy of the suit made available to newsmen in Kaduna Wednesday at a press briefing read that, the applicant is also seeking an order of the court to compel the respondents jointly and severally to pay to their client the sum of three billion naira as general damages for the illegal violation of his fundamental rights to life, dignity of his person, fair hearing, privacy and private property.

The applicant is seeking a declaration that the violent invasion of his private residence at No 1 Wali road, Gyallessu, Zaria in Kaduna State December 14, 2015 is a fragrant violation of his fundamental rights to privacy and private property as guaranteed‎ by the constitution.

A declaration that shooting of the applicant by armed soldiers who are members of the 1st respondent on Sunday, December 14, 2015 at his residence is illegal and unconstitutional.

A declaration that the cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment meted to the applicant by armed soldiers who are members of the 1st respondent is a fragrant vuolation of his foundamental right to dignity of human person as guarantted by the constitution.

A declaration that the extra judicial killing of ‎the appicants three children namely: Hameed Ibrahim (18), Ali Haidar Ibraheem (16), and Humaid Ibraheem (14) by armed soldiers who are agents of the 1st respondent at his residence in Gyallesu, the Hussainiya Baqiyyatulah and several other members of the IMN as on 14, 2015 is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates the foundamental right of the deceased to life.

A declaration that the arrest of the applicant without warrant i$gn his house at Zaria by armed soldiers who are agents of the 1st respondent on 14, December, 2015 is a fragrant violation of his fundamental rights to privacy and private property.

A declaration that the detention of the applicant at Kaduna and Abuja by the 2nd and 3rd respondents wihout access to mebers of his family and the IMN since December 14th 2015 till date is illegal and unconstitutional.

A declaration that the continued detention of the applicant from the 14th day of December 2015 till date without charging him to court of law is illegal and unconstitutional as it violate his fundamental right to fair hearing‎ as enshrined in the constitution.

The counsels are also seeking an order of the court directing the immediate and unconditional release of the applicant from the custody of the second and third respondent.

The counsel also sought an order of the court restraining the respondent from further arresting and or detaining and or harassing the applicant in any manner whatsoever and howsoever without lawful justification.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of the Counsels, Festus Okoye stressed that, “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/Shiite 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 originating summons are the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, the department of State Services, the Inspector General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation seeking identical reliefs for both applicants,” he observed.

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