On December 2, 2016, Gabriel Kolawole, justice of the federal high court, Abuja, had directed the Department of State Services (DSS) to release the detainees within 45 days.
He also ordered the government to pay a compensation of N50m to them, declaring their detention as “illegal and unconstitutional”.
The 45-day deadline expires on Monday, but the cleric and his wife have not been released.
A statement issued by Isa Sanusi, media manager of the human rights watchdog, said: “The Nigerian authorities must immediately comply with a high court order and release the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife from detention.
“El-Zakzaky, and his wife Malama Zeenah Ibraheem, have been in detention without charge for more than a year following a clash between his supporters and the Nigerian military in which soldiers slaughtered hundreds of men, women and children. The authorities claim he is being held in ‘protective custody.’”
It quoted Makmid Kamara, its interim Nigeria head, as saying: “The 45-day deadline given for their release expires today. If the government deliberately disregards the orders of its own courts, it will demonstrate a flagrant – and dangerous – contempt for the rule of law.
“El-Zakzaky is being unlawfully detained. This might be part of a wider effort to cover up the gruesome crimes committed by members of the security forces in Zaria in December 2015 that left hundreds dead.
“Amnesty International is also calling on the authorities to release other IMN supporters arrested at the same time as El Zakzaky and his wife, who likewise remain in detention without charge.”