Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria popularly known as Shiites have called on President Muhammadu Buhari and Kaduna State governor, Nasir el-Rufai, to drop all false charges against their leader, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and release him immediately.

The group described the continued detention of the cleric and his wife, Zeenat, as flagrant violation of their fundamental rights, abuse of court process and travesty of justice.

In a statement by the Secretary of the Academic Forum of the Movement, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, the group said the refusal of the Kaduna State Government to release the couple on health grounds despite a valid court order was a perversion of justice.

Ibraheem El-Zakzaky

The group maintained that the government had no right to keep their leader since those accused of committing the offence he was charged for had been discharged and acquitted. 

The statement reads, "This is glaringly obvious considering the fact that the charges against the Sheikh centres on aiding and abetting his followers for culpable homicide of one Corporal Dan Kaduna, and the same Kaduna State judiciary had already discharged and acquitted those falsely accused of committing it. 

"That this is the third Kaduna high court to pass judgment on the same and similar case is more than enough proof of its being an abuse of court process." 

The statement further added that the Sheikh had.already suffered two strokes, progressive glaucoma, and cervical spondylosis while in detention. 

It added, "In the last sitting, on February 24, 2020, the Kaduna High Court affirmed that the couple were unfit to stand trial, so an order was given by Justice Gideon Kurada, directing the officials of the Kaduna Prison to grant the Sheikh and his wife access to their doctors, but all to no avail."
The group vowed not to give up on its demand for the release of its leader.

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