Detained leader of Nigeria’s Shiite group, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, has been charged with murder amid growing street protests demanding his release from prolonged detention.

Mr El-Zakzaky and his wife have been held by the Nigerian government since December 2015 despite court rulings authorising his release.

The government claims he is held in a “protective custody”, but his supporters have in the last two weeks intensified protests demanding his freedom.

In what appears to be a response to the protests, the Kaduna state government slammed a fresh eight-count charge on the Shiite leader, his lawyer, Femi Falana, said Thursday.

The charges include homicide which is punishable by death.

Court papers obtained by PREMIUM TIMES indicate that the charges were filed on April 18.

According to the charge, the alleged offences took place during the December 2015 clash between the IMN and a convoy of Nigeria’s army chief, Tukur Buratai. Ibraheem-El-Zakzaky

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