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Shiites leader, El-Zakzaky sues Nigerian govt over passport seizure, demands N4bn compensation

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El-Zakzaky

The leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has filed a lawsuit at the Federal High Court, Abuja, to challenge the seizure of his passport by the Federal Government.

In the suit filed on Monday by his counsel, Femi Falana, the Attorney-General of the Federation and the Department of State Services (DSS) were listed as respondents.

The cleric had on Sunday accused the federal government and its agents of flagging his passport and that of his wife, Zeenat, in a bid to prevent the couple from traveling abroad for medical attention.

Justice Gideon Kurada of the Kaduna State High Court on July 28 discharged and acquitted the couple on charges of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of public peace, among others.

El-Zakzaky said his passport and that of his wife were last seen in the custody of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

READ ALSO: Leader of Nigeria’s Shiites, El-Zakzaky relives ordeals in detention, appeals for release of passport

However, the NIA has denied that the passports were in its possession.

On how the passports went missing, the cleric noted that the documents were flagged by the DSS when they tried to renew them through the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).

The couple prayed the court to compel the DSS and the AGF to release their passports and lift the red flag restrictions, as all requests to remove the restriction had been ignored by the secret police.

They also urged the court to declare the seizure of their passports since May 2019 as illegal and unconstitutional.

The couple equally demanded N2 billion each as general and exemplary damages from the federal government for the violation of their rights to freedom of movement.

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