A Kaduna High Court has slated August 5 for ruling on the application filed by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.
Backstory: Human rights activist and counsel to El-Zakzaky, Femi Falana (SAN) had filed the application on July 18 seeking for the release of his clients in order for them to receive medical treatment abroad.
- A team of foreign doctors previously recommended that El-Zalzaky and his wife be flown abroad for medical attention following a test. They have been in detention since 2015.
What it means: More suspense in the air at a time of increasing clashes and tensions between the members of the sect and the Nigerian authorities.
- Just last week, a few days after an IMN protest where a clash between members of the group and the police led to several deaths, the Federal Government hurriedly secured a controversial court order proscribing the IMN and declaring it a terrorist organisation.
- However, the FG has said it is not out-rightly proscribing the group’s religious practices but instead banning all of the non-religious activities of the organisation.
- Legal practitioners such as Mike Ozekhome, Chidi Odinkalu, Ayo Adebanjo and Femi Falana, have condemned the move by the FG to proscribe the activities of the IMN and cited it as being contrary to the fundamental and constitutional rights guaranteed an individual in the constitution.
Bottomline: Not even a favorable court ruling for El-Zakzaky and his wife may be enough. The FG, since 2015, has operated a policy of selective obedience to court rulings and have gotten away with it for so long that the former attorney general of the federation, Abubakar Malami, justified the policy on Friday at the senate.