Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana has written an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari concerning his clients Ibrahim El-Zakzaky leader, Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), and Zainab Elzakzaky, his wife asking for their immediate release.
El-Zakzaky who has been under detention by the State Security Service since 2015 has had several run ins with the law and is believed to be a threat to Nigeria’s peace and safety.
The IMN leader allegedly lost an eye during his capture in his Zaria residence where hundreds of his followers were supposedly killed by the military.
Falana in his letter has asked that the president honour the federal high court’s ruling which is an order for the immediate release of El-Zakzaky and his wife along with a 50 million Naira reparation fee.
“On December 2, 2016, the Abuja Judicial Division of the Federal High Court ordered the release of Sheik Ibraheem Elzakzaky and his wife, Hajia Zainab Elzakzaky from the illegal custody of the State Security Service,” the letter read.
“The court also awarded them reparation of N50 million and directed the Federal Government to provide a temporary accommodation for the couple since it was established that the Nigerian Army and the Kaduna state government had burnt and demolished their private residence located at Zaria in Kaduna state.
“We urge Your Excellency to terminate forthwith the physical and mental agony that has been inflicted on our clients by releasing them from illegal custody and allowing them to travel abroad for urgent medical attention.”
“In case the federal government is not prepared to direct the State Security Service to comply with the orders of the Federal High Court we are compelled to urge Your Excellency to order the release of the couple on health grounds,” he wrote.
“Although Sheik Elzakzaky lost his left eye while he is on the verge of losing the right eye sequel to the brutal treatment meted out to him by the armed soldiers the State Security Service has denied him foreign medical treatment recommended by the local specialists who had attended to him.
“Even the alternative arrangement put in place by the family of the Sheik to bring eye specialists from abroad to treat him in custody has equally been rejected without any legal justification.
“It may interest Your Excellency to know that the medical condition of Mrs Zainab Elzakzaky is by far worse than that of her husband.
“For reasons best known to the State Security Service, some of the bullets lodged in her body during the brutal attack of December 14, 2015 have not been extracted up till now. In the circumstances, she has been subjected to excruciating pain and agony, on a daily basis.
“Her life which is currently in danger may be saved and prolonged if she is allowed to receive adequate medical attention without any further delay.”