There have been reports that the leader of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, also knows as the Shi’ite sect, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, had died in the custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Mindful of the upheaval such a story could cause in areas where El-Zakzaky has large following, the DSS on Saturday paraded the cleric before a select group of journalists at its office in Abuja.
The Shi’ites leader told the journalists that his rumoured death was false.
The media parade was El-Zakzaky’s first public appearance since December 2015 when he was arrested following a clash between his supporters and men of the Nigerian Army in Kaduna that led to the brutal massacre of hundreds of Shi’ites by Nigerian soldiers.
The federal government has continued to detain the cleric without trial and has defied several court rulings ordering El-Zakzaky’s release from custody.