From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
Leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky’s release from detention may not breath the air of freedom anytime soon because of security reason and the need to protect the interest of the public, says the Presidency.
“The issue of the release of Zak Zaky is not exclusively legal. It has security and public interest as against individual interest undertones”, a presidency source was quoted as saying.
A Federal High Court in Abuja had on December 2nd, 2016 ordered the unconditional release of El Zakyzaky, within 45 days.
The court had also awarded N25m damages each in favour of Zakyzaky and his wife, Zeenat against the Federal Government.
The Shiite leader had been in detention since December 2015.
But the Presidential source who spoke on the condition of anonymity to newsmen said, the “major constitutional policy objective of government as stated in section 14 (2) (b) is public and not individual security.
“Public interest and national security implications must be factored into consideration in line with international practices that conventionally place national security and public interest above any other individual claim of right. The fedaral government of nigeria is looking into the case with the public and security interest dimensions into consideration,” the source said.
On the detention of the Shiite leader’s wife along side her husband, the source maintained that El-Zakzaky’s wife was not of “any security interests and therefore was merely keeping her husband company in the apartment in which he is kept.
“She is not under detention. If it is her wish, that of her husband or of the IMAN, she will be allowed to go home in a matter of hours,” he said.
According to the source, El-Zakzaky’s spouse was picked up by the Department of Security Services, (DSS) beside her husband with bullet wounds following IMN’s encounter with the army.
“They took her along with the husband, treated her wounds and allowed her to care for her him. Upon his request on an occasion, the children joined them duringRamadan. That is what happened.”