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We didn’t seize El-Zakzaky, wife’s passport, say AGF, SSS

thenationonlineng.net

Nov 21, 2021

El-Zakzaky-and-wife-Zeenat
El-Zakzaky-and-wife-Zeenat

The Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and the Director General of the State Security Service (DG, SSS) have denied seizing the international passports of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and wife, Zeenah or preventing them from travelling abroad.

They also faulted claim by  El-Zakzaky and wife that the Federal Government frustrated their last medical trip to India, arguing the IMN leader’s “cantankerous acts” accounted for why he was sent back from India.”

The AGF and the DG, SSS also denied preventing them from travelling outside the country.

They spoke in their separate counter-affidavits filed in response to the fundamental rights enforcement suits filed by El-Zakzaky and his wife before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

The suits are marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/229/2021 and FHC/ABJ/CS/230/2021.

El-Zakzaky and his wife accused the AGF and the DG, SSS of among others, seizing their passports marked: A50578739 and A50578740 and preventing them from travelling abroad for medical treatment.

They accused the DG, SSS of refusing to respond to a letter by their lawyer, demanding for the release of the passports.

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The DG, SSS (named as the first respondent in both suits), in the counter affidavit, faulted all the claims by the applicants, argued that the suits were speculative and prayed the court to dismiss them.

“The first respondent did not at any time collect, take nor keep the applicants’ international passport or any other travelling documents of the Applicant;

“The Director of Legal Services Department of the first respondent did not receive any letter from the applicants’ counsel neither is he aware of the existence of such letter until the court process filed by the applicants was brought to Legal Services Department on 1st November, 2021.

Read Also: Alleged passport seizure: Court to hear El-Zakzaky, wife’s N4bn suit against DSS, AGF Jan. 19

“The first respondent did not place the applicants on “Red flag” restrictions and does not also intend to do so at present. The last time the first respondent placed the applicants on restriction was the period between 1st June, 1995 and 25th July, 2003.”

The AGF (sued as the second respondent) made similar argument in is counter affidavit and prayed the court to reject the suits.

Part of the counter-affidavit reads: “The second respondent did not authorise the seizure of the applicants’ international passport or any other travelling document and is also not in custody of same and has not acted in any way to prevent the applicants from travelling outside Nigeria.

“The second respondent did not direct the Nigerian immigration Service to place any form of travel ban or restriction on the applicants and is also not aware that the first respondent ever issued such directive.

“The Nigerian immigration Service has also not stated that such ban or restriction exists at the instance of any of the respondents.

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