Ibrahim El-Zakzaky/Photo credit: BBC

The Federal Government has 45 days to release the leader of the Shi’ite sect in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Malama Zeatudden, from detention.

This follows a Federal High Court ruling in Abuja on Friday, ordering the unconditional release of the sect leader within 45 days.

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El-Zakzaky and his wife were arrested by the Army on 14 December, 2015. Both have been in the custody of the Department of State Service since December 15, 2015.

Delivering a joint judgment in the two rights enforcement suits filed by the two applicants, Justice Gabriel Kolawole ordered the Federal Government to provide a new accommodation for El-Zakzaky in Zaria or any northern town of his choice.

The judge awarded N25m each, totalling N50m, to the Shi’ite leader and his wife as payment for general damages.

El-Zakzak and his wife were arrested following the violent encounter between members of his sect and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State in December 2015.

The applicants alleged that they were brutally injured and their house destroyed by the Nigerian Army after the incident.