Ade Adesomoju, Abuja
Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), on Sunday demanded the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (also known as Shi’ite), Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky; and wife, Zeinab, following their rumoured death which prompted the Department of State Service to parade them before the media last week.
Falana, in a statement, described the continued detention of the couple against a court order and their parade before the media as illegal.
The senior lawyer advised the Federal Government to quickly “purge itself of the aggravated contempt” of the Federal High Court which ordered the release of the couple from the illegal custody of the State Security Service.
Falana, who helped El-Zakzaky to obtain the Federal High Court’s judgment ordering his release from DSS detention, that contrary to official claims that the detainee was hale and hearty, the Shi’ite leader had since lost his left eye in detention and was suffering from a neck injury.
He also stated that the recommendation of eye specialists that his client be flown abroad to save the right eye and prevent him from going totally blind had been ignored by the Federal Government.
He said if the Federal Government was unwilling to “end the official impunity” of disrespecting subsisting court, it should release the couple to their children who had applied to take them abroad for urgent medical treatment.
Falana said, “But contrary to the official claim that the Shiite leader is hale and hearty, he is currently wearing a neck collar support which was procured for him when he fell sometime last December.”