SHAFAQNA- A Nigerian high court rejected a law suit filed against the military by the country’s senior Shia cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
Lawyer Dari Bayero, representing the military, calimed the case in Kano was struck out for abuse of process, “as the same suit was determined by another federal high court in Abuja.”
“The court said the plaintiff (Zakzaky) cannot sue in piecemeal on the same issue at different courts but should consolidate their case in one court,” he added, according to AFP.
Sheikh Zakzaky’s lawyer, Haruna Magashi, argued the two cases were fundamentally different and they were studying the judgment before deciding whether to appeal.
“The case before the Abuja federal high court pertains to illegal detention without trial of my client by the DSS (Department of State Services),” he said.
“This particular one is about enforcement of human rights, which by law can only be filed at a court within whose jurisdiction the crime was committed.”
Sheikh Zakzaky, who leads the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), was arrested in December 2015 during raids by the Nigerian army on peaceful gatherings of IMN members in the northern city of Zaria.
Human rights groups have fiercely criticized the government in Abuja over the crackdown on Zakzaky’s followers.
They say nearly 350 IMN members have been killed in the army raids on the gathering of Shias over the past year.
Human Rights Watch called on Nigeria late last year to end the crackdown on IMN supporters and release Zakzaky from prison.
Amnesty International also issued a statement in January and urged the government to comply with the court ruling that calls for an end to the “unlawful” detention of Zakzaky.
A deadline for the release of Zakzaky and IMN supporters expired in January as the government ignored calls to end the illegal imprisonment.