The Department of State Services (DSS) on Friday said the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, is not dead.
An official of the service who chose to remain anonymous told NAN that El-Zakzaky was hale and hearty.
The Nigerian army is yet to react to reports of the Shi’ites leader’s death.
Sani Usman, spokesman of the army, did not respond to messages sent to him by TheCable and did not pick calls put across to him.
The Shi’ites have been demanding the release of their leader for months.
Their protests are usually met with police brutality, with officers often using tear gas to disperse them.
Members of the group recently clashed with the police when they sought to protest at the national assembly.
Two days later, the police announced the arrest of 52 members of the IMN and the recovery of improvised petrol-bomb, stones and catapult.
El-Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 after the Shi’ites and the Nigerian army clashed in Zaria, Kaduna state.
Over 300 people were said to have been killed as a result of the clash.