The Department of State Services (DSS) yesterday claimed the department is keeping the detained leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky in protective custody.
In a counter affidavit filed against the fundamental rights suit by Zakzaky before an Abuja Federal High Court, the DSS, who admitted custody of the Shi’ite leader from the Nigerian Army, claimed it will not free him in his own interest.
The DSS, who was represented by counsel Tijjani Gazalli, stated that Zakzaky could be attacked by residents of Gyallesu community, Zaria, Kaduna State, the spiritual headquarters of the sect, because he has been having issues with them.
But defence counsel Festus Okoye, who stood in for Femi Falana (SAN), said the position of the DSS is misleading because Zakzaky has no structure anymore in Gyallesu.
He said the army and the Kaduna State government have demolished the sect’s Husainiyya and other spiritual structures in the community, adding that Zakzaky has nowhere to go in Zaria.
Zakzaky and his wife, Mallama Zeenah Ibrahim, were arrested following a confrontation between the group and soldiers which resulted in several deaths and destruction of properties on December 12 and 14, 2015.
Zakzaky is demanding an order of court directing his immediate release from custody.
He also wants the court to award the sum of N2 billion against the Nigerian Army, the Chief of Army Staff, the Department of State Services (DSS),the Inspector General of Police, and the Attorney General of the Federation(AGF).
Justice Gabriel Kolawole has acceded to the requests by the DSS and the office of the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to reply to the claims out of time.
The judge also gave Zakzaky’s counsels five days to further respond to the defence’s counter affidavit. Hearing continues on July 13.