Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah have each slammed N2 billion lawsuit against the Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami and the Director-General of the State Security Service (SSS), Yusuf Magaji Bichi.
According to court documents seen by online news medium SaharaReporters, the IMN leader and his wife, Zeenah seek relief from the court following the restrictions placed on their passports despite their serious health challenges.
In the suit filed at the Federal High Court of Nigeria, Abuja by the Falana & Falana Chambers on behalf of El-Zakzaky, the reliefs sought include:
“A declaration that the seizure of the Applicants Passport No A50578740 since May 2019 is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates his fundamental right to freedom of movement guaranteed by Section 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and Article 12 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“A declaration that the Red Flag Travelling Restrictions placed on the Applicants Passport and land borders by the Respondents without a court order is illegal and unconstitutional as it violates his right to fair hearing guaranteed by Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and Article 7 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“A declaration that the refusal of the Respondents to allow the Applicant to travel abroad for medical treatment constitutes a threat to his life guaranteed by Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (As Amended) and Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act (CAP A9) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.
“An order of this Honourable Court mandating the Respondents to release the Applicant’s international passport number A50578740 to him in order to enable him to access prompt and adequate medical attention as recommended by his physicians.
“An order of this Honourable Court mandating the Respondents to lift the Red Flag Restrictions (and all or every form of restriction howsoever) placed on the International Passport number A50578740 of the Applicant by agents of the Respondents forthwith.
“An order of this Honourable Court mandating the Respondents to pay over to the applicant the sum of Two Billion Naira (N2,000,000,000.00) as general and exemplary damages for the violation of the Applicant’s rights to freedom of movement, fair hearing and property.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the Respondents from further violating the Applicants fundamental rights in any manner whatsoever and howsoever without lawful justification.”
Providing the basis for the reliefs, the legal practitioners argued that the applicant’s right to Freedom of movement, right to own property and fair hearing is guaranteed by Sections 41 (1), 38 and 36 of the 1999 Constitution, Articles 12, 14 and 10 of United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and Article 7 (b) and (2) of the African Charter of Human and Peoples Rights respectively.
They also stated that the Red Flag Travel Restrictions Placed on the travelling documents of the Applicant violates the Applicants right to Freedom of movement, right to own property and fair hearing respectively citing sections of the constitution.
On July 28, Justice Gideon Kurada of the Kaduna State High Court acquitted and discharged the leader of the IMN, El- Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah who had been standing trial in the court for four years and detained since December 2015.
El-Zakzaky and Zeenah were standing trial on eight counts bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, among others.
The defendants had pleaded not guilty to the charges.