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Human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), has written to President Muhammadu Buhari, urging him to “be humane by ordering the release” of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (otherwise called Shiites), Sheik Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, and the cleric’s wife, Zainab, from illegal custody.


The detainees have been in the custody of the Department of State Service since December 2015 following a clash between el-Zakzaky’s followers and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army State, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Falana’s letter, dated November 7, is the second he sent to the Presidency demanding the release of the detainees following an earlier one dated June 2, 2017 and addressed to Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, who was then the Acting President when Buhari was abroad on medical vacation.

The senior lawyer who in his letter reminded the President that the continued detention of the couple was in violation of the judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja delivered on December 2, 2016, pleaded with the President to the consider the detainees’ deteriorating health conditions and order their release.

He noted that Buhari, having himself been illegally detained in the past by the then Head of State, Gen. Ibrahim Babangida (retd.) and also recently traveled to the United Kingdom, would appreciate the couple’s “agony” in custody.

He reminded the President of the need for the Federal Government to be humane and refrain from subjecting citizens to inhuman treatment.



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