While speaking with journalists at the federal high court in Abuja, on Tuesday, counsel to the Department of State Services (DSS), Tijjani Gazali, said that the leader of the Shiite islamic sect in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is in its custody for his own safety.
Gazali who disclosed that El-Zakzaky was being held 'at his own will and for his benefit', said: “He need not give his consent, but the point is he remains vulnerable and is under protective custody and the job of the DSS is to protect every Nigerian,” Gazali said.
However, counsel to the Shiite leader, Festus Okoye, countered the claim of the DSS, saying that the secret police breached the fundamental rights of his client by detaining him.
“They told us that he is being held at his own will, but we are yet to hear that from him. So until we consult him and he says that then we can confirm it,” Okoye said.
Hearing in a fundamental rights suit brought by El-Zakzaky against the government before Gabriel Kolawole, the judge, was adjourned to July 13.
The influential Shiite leader is demanding his immediate release from detention, and N2bn as compensation for damages inflicted on him and his followers.
Recall that in December, members of the Sh’ite sect had clashed with the army, resulting in the death of at least 300 persons.
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