El-Zakzaky vs Nigerian Army: Court to rule July 6
The Federal High court, Kaduna on Friday has reserved judgment for July, 6, 2017 in the case involving the bloody clash between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiites and the Nigerian Army which occurred in Zaria, in December 2015.
The applicant in the suit and leader of the Shiites, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky had dragged the Nigerian Army, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Yusuf Buratai, Attorney General of the Federal of the Federation (AGF) and the Kaduna State Government before the Federal High over the alleged Killings, including the children of El-Zakzaky; and destruction of his house.
It will be recalled that the Federal High Court in Abuja, under Justice Gabriel Kolawole had earlier delivered judgment on the infringement of the fundamental rights and unlawful detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife, while he ordered for their release within 45 days, provision of befitting accommodation and the payment of damages to the tune of 50 million Naira to them.
When the case came up for hearing in Kaduna yesterday, the Federal High Court judge, Justice Saleh Musa Shuaibu said that “I have the written addresses of both the applicants and respondents in this case before me, and I have also gone through the judgment of my learned brother in Abuja, Justice Kolawole which deal with the unlawful detention and fundamental human rights of El-Zakzaky and his wife”.
“I will concern myself with the issue of alleged destruction of the houses and properties of the applicant by the Army and the killings of his children which were brought before me. And all these have been covered by the written addresses, exhibits, affidavits and annexure of counsels and which I have gone through”.
However, the Counsel to the Applicant, barrister Festus Okoye while addressing the court, said that despite the fact that Justice Kolawole ordered for the release of Zakzaky and the wife, the third respondent, Directorate of Security Service (DSS) has remained adamant to the judgment “thereby giving approval to what the first and second respondents (Nigerian Army and the Chief of Army Staff) did”.
“I wish to refer the court to the judgment of justice Kolawole. He said that the applicant must be provided with a house, for himself and his wife. What Justice Kolawole said was that they should be given a temporary accommodation with damages of 25 million naira to each of
them. If my Lord looks at relief 5, your Learned brother, Justice Kolawole did this in page 51, to talk about accommodation to be provided”.
Okoye who said that the applicant has been rendered homeless unjustly while his children were killed by soldiers, told the court that “on the whole we urged my lordship to grant all the reliefs sought and for the court to take judicial notice of the fact that the third respondent (DSS) is still in contempt in releasing the applicant and his wife, thereby giving approval to what the first and second respondent did”.
Meanwhile, in his submission, lawyer to the Army and Chief of Army Staff, Mr. Biola Oyebanji while urging the court to dismiss the submission of Okoye, said that “the essence of this is to do justice primarily in this case”, adding that “it is the effort and action of the first and second respondents that uphold peace in this country and we were all eye witnesses to the terrifying situations that the entire nation went through doing the unrest”.