A Lagos based human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) has asked Acting President Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) to, in the light of the resolution of President Muhammadu Buhari-led government’s resolve to end impunity, direct that Sheik El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeinab, be released from prison.
He also called for the release of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Sambo Dasuki, who as well as El-Zakzaky and his wife, have been ordered by competent courts to be released.
He therefore asked Osinbajo to sanction the overzealous public officers who have publicly denigrated the rule of law for keeping the above persons despite court orders granting them bail.
Falana stated this in a letter he wrote to Osinbajo, dated June 2, 2017, where he also called on the acting president to “direct the Nigerian Army to investigate and prosecute the military personnel responsible for the brutal and callous massacre of the 347 members of the Shia Community at Zaria in December 2015.”
He decried the fact that apart from the Department of State Security (DSS) flouting of court orders by still keeping El-Zakzaky in custody, that the religious leader had lost his right eye and could lose the second as he has been denied medical care in detention.
Part of the letter read, “In Your Excellency’s National Address delivered to the Nigerian people on May 29, 2017 you said inter alia: ‘Nigeria belongs to all of us. No one person or group of persons is more important or more entitled than the other in this space that we all call home.
“‘And we have a responsibility to live in peace and harmony with one another, to seek peaceful and constitutional means of expressing our wishes and desires, and to resist all who might seek to sow confusion and hatred for their own selfish interests.’
“Since we have a responsibility ‘to resist all who might seek to sow confusion and hatred for their own selfish interests’, we urge Your Excellency to sanction the overzealous public officers who have publicly denigrated the rule of law by saying that the valid and subsisting orders of competent courts for the release of Sheik El-Zakzaky and his wife would not be obeyed by the Federal Government.
“Notwithstanding the commitment of the Federal Government to operate under the rule of law, the same individuals have continued to give the dangerous impression that the Federal Government would not comply with the orders of the Federal High Court, the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory and the Community Court of Justice (of the ECOWAS) to the effect that Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.) be admitted to bail.
“In view of the resolve of the Muhammadu Buhari administration to end impunity in the country, we urge Your Excellency to use your good offices to direct the DSS to release Sheik El-Zakzaky and his wife from further incarceration in compliance with the orders of the Federal High Court. At the same time Col. Dasuki (retd.) should be admitted to bail as ordered by the municipal and regional courts.
“We also pray Your Excellency to direct the Nigerian Army to investigate and prosecute the military personnel responsible for the brutal and callous massacre of the 347 members of the Shia Community at Zaria in December 2015.”
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