Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, also known as Shi’ites, on Friday, called for the immediate release of its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and wife, Zeenat, from the Kaduna correctional facility.
According to the IMN, releasing El-Zakzaky becomes necessary in view of the COVID-19 pandemic ravaging the world.
The Shi’ite leader and wife, despite a 2016 Federal High Court ruling that declared his arrest and detention as unlawful, unconstitutional and a breach of his fundamental rights, has been held in a correctional centre since 2015.
This followed a clash between the Nigerian Army and the IMN over an attack on the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Only recently, the inmates of the Kaduna Correctional Centre where the Shi’ites leader and wife were being held, revolted over the fear of the coronavirus spreading to the facility. Four inmates were reportedly killed during the fracas.
A statement by the President, Media Forum of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, in Kaduna on Friday contained the call for the Shi’ites leader’s release.
The statement read, “Since the outbreak of this coronavirus pandemic, many countries all over the world have been releasing prison inmates in their thousands ostensibly to decongest them, but also as a way of releasing the innocent ones among them who were unjustly detained. By so doing, the nation receives succour from the creator of the world because of the magnanimity.
“It is in this same vein that Nigerian government is expected to release the foremost prisoner of faith in the country and the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, who has been in detention for almost five years with ailments he sustained in the course of his arrest and detention.