Members of the House of Representatives yesterday asked the federal government to obey existing court orders on the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Zakzaky, to ensure “amicable solution to lingering protests by the group.”
The lawmakers also condemned the invasion of the National Assembly complex by the Shiite group which reportedly, led to the loss of life and destruction of property.
This followed a unanimous adoption of a motion brought under matters of urgent national importance by the House Minority Leader, Ndudi Elumelu (PDP, Delta).
Elumelu expressed concern over increasing violence by the Shiite members who have been protesting Zakzaky’s continued detention. Whereas some lawmakers said there was need to address “the root cause” of the protests, which they identified as the continued detention of Zakzaky, others called for a holistic review of the nation’s security architecture.
They warned that similar circumstances led to the emergence and subsequent metamorphosis of Boko Haram, hence the need for caution. Onofiok Luke (PDP, Akwa Ibom) said it was unfortunate that while the lawmakers were empowered to make laws, the federal government was going against the rule of law in its disobedience to the court orders ordering the release of the IMN leader.
Bamidele Salam (PDP, Osun) described Zakzaky’s continued detention as injustice, since “injustice to one is injustice to all.” For Simon Davou (APC, Plateau), rather than detain Zakzaky against court orders, the government should release him “and ensure surveillance, with enough security operatives to monitor his activities.”
Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 after the group clashed with a convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Yusuf Buratai, in Kaduna State. Consequently, there have been several court orders granting him bail, but federal government has failed to comply. Zakzaky faces charges culpable homicide and unlawful assembly, among others.