Despite the court judgment ordering his release, the travails of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky,r leader of Shiite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), seems not to be getting better as Kaduna State government on Monday officially branded the Islamic sect an insurgent group.
This was contained in the White paper released by Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State on Monday, in a statement released by Samuel Aruwan, Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity.
Part of the statement read, “With regards to the findings of the commission on the conduct of the Nigerian Army, the state government noted the recommendation that members of the Nigerian Army that may have been involved in the unlawful killing of 347 citizens should be brought to trial before a Court of competent jurisdiction.
“The inquiry report further asserted that “the IMN has been steadfast and deliberate in refusing to recognise the legitimacy, authority and the Constitution of the Nigerian State. They have operated outside the laws of the State and the Funtua Declaration is their flagship enunciation of the ideology of confrontation with the Nigerian State, its legal system and its security agencies. The result has been a long tradition of IMN refusal to respect, observe and comply with the laws of the country.” The Commission of Inquiry also highlighted the IMN’s allegiance to a foreign power and its pattern of conduct which suggests that the IMN is an insurgent group.”
A Judicial Commission of Inquiry which the governor set up with the mandate to examine, among other issues, the immediate and remote causes of the clashes between the Nigerian Army and the outlawed IMN had in July 2016 submitted its report.
And following the receipt of the report, the government of the state made the report public within 10 days and set up a committee of senior public servants to prepare a draft White Paper.
This White Paper sets out the views and decisions of the government on all the recommendations that have been made to it by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry.
This is coming as Justice Gabriel Kolawole, had on December 1, while delivering judgment on a Fundamental Human Rights suit, filed by Mr El-Zakzaky challenging his arrest and continued detention by the Department of State Services (DSS), ruled that the Islamic leader should be released unconditionally within 45 days.
There are increasing concerns that government’s tough stance on the Shiite Islamic sect may eventually drive the group underground and raise the spectre of another Boko Haram armed.resistance in Northern Nigeria.
The group had earlier been banned by the state government for what it alleged were attempts to constitute themselves into a state within a state.
The Shiites have lost over 400 of their members since the face-off with Nigerian authorities began.
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