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Release El-Zakzaky to prove govt’s respect for rule of law, Falana tasks Malami



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Lawyer-turned rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN), on Thursday restated his call for the Federal Government to release the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.

Falana, in a letter dated January 2, 2020, and addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), said he is making the request in line with President Muhammadu Buhari’s promise to respect the rule of law.

The President had said in his New Year message that his administration’s actions would be governed by the rule of law.

However, Falana said in his letter that the AGF had given contradictory reasons for the continued incarceration of El-Zakzaky.

He said: “In view of the recent decision of the federal government to comply with all court orders we have the instructions of our clients to request you to ensure compliance with the valid and subsisting orders of the Federal High Court and Kaduna State High Court concerning them which are set out hereunder.

“On December 2, 2016, the Federal High Court presided over by the Honourable Justice G. O. Kolawole (now of the Court of Appeal) declared illegal and unconstitutional the arrest and detention of Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Hajia Zeinat El-Zakzaky by armed soldiers.

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“Consequently, the court awarded them N50 million damages for their illegal detention, ordered the State Security Service to release them from custody forthwith and provide them with a house since the Nigerian Army had burnt down and demolished their house in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“Without any legal basis whatsoever the federal government refused to comply with the aforesaid court orders. Curiously, the contemptuous acts of the federal government were publicly defended by your good self and some other high ranking officials of the Buhari administration.”

Falana had in December last year demanded the release of El-Zakzaky following the release of the convener of the #RevolutionNow protest, Omoyele Sowore, and ex-National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), from the Department of State Services (DSS) custody.

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