Thursday, 21st September 2023

FG gives reason for not releasing El-Zakzaky

By Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja and Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna
28 December 2019   |   4:18 am
The Federal Government has given reasons for not releasing the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

[FILE PHOTO] Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

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The Federal Government has given reasons for not releasing the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), in a statement issued yesterday, stated that the Federal Government could not interfere with the El-Zakzaky case because he is still being prosecuted by a state government.

The AGF also refuted speculations that the federal government was compelled to release Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki.

Recall that the AGF directed an immediate release of Dasuki and Sowore, who were in the custody of DSS.

Malami said: “The only reasons for the release of Omoyele Sowore and Sambo Dasuki revolved around our commitment to the rule of law, obedience for court orders and compassionate grounds.”

“It is important to understand the fact that as far as the law is concerned and in relation to the Nigerian justice system, one has multiple options after a court has ruled on a matter.

“These options include the right to appeal the said ruling, the right to ask the same court that issued an order to vary or review the terms of the order as well as the right to request for Stay of Execution of the order pending the hearing and determination of an appeal in that matter.”

The minister said it was in line with the above provisions of the law that the Federal Government considered the relevant court orders in respect of these cases.

He added that individuals concerned were released out of compassion and mercy as well as obedience to the rule of law and not because of any extraneous consideration.

According to him, Federal Government has the right to keep detaining the suspects while challenging the order admitting them to bail up to the apex court.

He, however, refuted claims that his office received formal communication from any American Senator on the matter and that the discussion during the visit of the American Ambassador to Nigeria at the event of the submission of letter of credence was not in any way connected to the accused persons.

“Even if we received any communication from them, that will never be the basis on the part of the Federal Government to obey or disobey court orders emanating from Nigeria,” he added.

Malami stated that each of the cases of Dasuki and Sowore were treated on their individual merit and not in relation to one another or any other factors. He described as blatant falsehood claims that Dasuki was detained based on certain primordial sentiments.

“The critical question that you may ask should be whether there is a strong suspicion of committing an offence or not. If there is suspicion of committing an offence which deserved, as a matter of necessity, to be investigated through legal steps, then there was no room for thinking of witch-hunting an individual or personal vendetta against anyone.”