The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (NIM), popularly known as Shiites on Sunday asked the Federal Government to release their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky after six years in detention.
The latest call for the release of El-Zakzaky coincided with the commencement of the year 2021 Ramadan (Islamic holy month of fasting).
Several court pronouncements had asked the FG to release the religious leader.
Pacesetter News recalls that Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, was detained since December 2015. But amid growing street protests demanding his release from prolonged detention, El-Zakzaky and his wife have been detained by the government despite court rulings authorising their release.
The Southwest coordinator, of IMN, Muftau Zakariyah who made the calls on behalf of the followers of the detainee, at a press conference in Ibadan on Sunday, faulted the government for not respecting the rule of law.
The regional coordinator of the sect at a press conference after its interfaith symposium to allow religious leaders across Muslim and Christians lines discuss how to have an enduring peace in Nigeria, decried alleged killings of the six sons of their leader and over 1,000 of his followers.
He said; “The only thing capable of saving our country today is the observance of the rule of law. If citizens can go to court and seek redress,if Police will go after criminals and prosecute them, then citizens would not revert to self help and jungle justice.
“Today the government has failed to project Shi”tes as terrorists, they have failed to prove that we have ever attacked anyone. On the contrary it is the GMB administration that is seen blatantly romancing terrorists.
“It is this government that is giving amnesty to known terrorists.
“It is this government that is empowering terrorists with millions of dollars of Nigerian assets!
“Anyone that is seen using power to enrich terrorists shall face prosecution in the future.
“Finally we are advising the government and all people of conscience to make sure that our leader is released according to the rule of law.
“Since Cain killed Abel the world is always in trouble, when we refuse to be our brothers keepers.”
Speaking on several judgements which had vindicated their leader, the group said; “in 2017 competent court in Abuja gave a judgement that the Nigerian government must release him and his wife Mallama Zeenah and compensation of N25million be paid and a house anywhere he wants in Nigeria. But this court order was disobeyed.
“Today a court in Kaduna where 234 Shi”tes have been acquitted for allegedly killing a soldier, is again trying Sheikh Zakzaky for an offence for which he has been discharged and acquitted. The court in Kaduna is trying Sheikh Zakzaky as an accomplice to murder of an alleged soldier, the irony is this same court has acquitted all the 234 Shi”tes accused of killing the soldier, and yet Sheikh Zakzaky is still being put a trial he knew nothing about. Which is why the counsel to Sheikh Zakzaky, Mr. Femi Falana had served a no case submission to have the ludicrous case against Sheikh Zakzaky dismissed.”