El-Zakzaky’s Fate Now Lies With The Judiciary says Presidency

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The Presidency says President Muhammadu Buhari has no hand in the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiek Ibrahim El Zakzaky. Legislative Digest reports that the Shi’ites leader has been in detention since 2015, after his followers had a clash with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen Tukur Buratai in Kaduna.
Though a Federal High Court in Abuja had in 2016 granted him bail, the cleric is still being held for offenses against the state, a situation which has led to continuous protests by members of the sect.
In a statement made available to newsmen, Presidential Spokesman, Garba Shehu noted that the destruction of public properties in the name of protests demanding the release of the cleric will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free.
The statement reads in part: “The destruction of public property in the name of protest is not within the right of this group of Shiite members and no government anywhere would have tolerated a situation where any group would take over public roads in cities as they have done in Abuja and interfere with the rights of other citizens who are prevented from reaching their destinations.
“We imagine a situation where families are taking their loved ones to hospital for emergency treatment and they are held up needlessly by the protesters. No government anywhere in the world would turn a blind eye to this unlawful behaviour.
“As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands in the matter and to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violations of court orders as being trumpeted every day.
“These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free.
“At the same time, the administration is determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued.
“The Buhari administration has absolutely no hand in the on-going court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.
“The mentality that you are above the law and that your own rights are superior to other people’s rights is unacceptable.
“You can’t be provoking other citizens by interfering with their own rights on public roads and disrupting their businesses and call it democratic freedom. In democratic traditions, their rights end where the rights of others begin.
“Law-abiding citizens must avoid deliberate lawlessness. It is not within the rights of any group to enter protected public institutions such as the National Assembly by force to attack police and destroy public and private property.
“It is always advisable to embrace dialogue and eschew violence in all our actions so that we can continue to live together in peace.
“We, therefore, appeal to the Shiite group to stop deliberate provocations that result in violence and fatalities and allow the trial of El-ZakZaky to take its course.”

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