Nigeria’s federal high court has ordered the intelligence agency and justice minister to free the country’s detained Shiite leader and his wife.
The court also awarded him a N50 million (167,000 dollars) damages and a home to replace their bulldozed property.
Friday’s ruling comes a year after a December attack in which Nigerian troops killed at least 348 Shiites, wounded scores and destroyed three compounds of the Iranian-inspired Islamic Movement in Nigeria at its headquarters in northern city of Zaria.
I think the judge wants to alleviate this situation, and that is why it has ordered that the applicant be released without condition in a period of 45 days.
According to a government appointed commission of inquiry, one soldier was killed.
“I think the judge wants to alleviate this situation, and that is why it has ordered that the applicant be released without condition in a period of 45 days,” said Festus Okoye advocate for Ibraheem Zakzaky.
During the incident, the Leader Ibraheem Zakzaky was shot seven times and lost one of his eye. Two of his sons were killed, Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, have been held illegally since December 2015.
Nigeria’s military claimed the raid came after Shiites blocked a military convoy and attempted to assassinate the chief of army staff, a suggestion human rights group rejected.
Officials have accused the Shiites of plotting a Boko Haram-type Islamic extremist uprising but the group insists it is peacefully pursuing the creation of an Islamic state in Nigeria, a country of 170 million people almost equally divided between Christians and Muslims.
Federal High Court orders unconditional release of Shiite leader, wife from detention, within 45 dayshttps://t.co/Pn9OPESEdl— The Guardian Nigeria (@GuardianNigeria) December 3, 2016
Most Muslims in Nigeria are Sunni but Zakzaky commands millions of followers.
Nigerian security forces often clash with Shiites, who often block state highways with processions of up to 1 million people.