The Presidency said on Friday that the issue involving the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zalzaky, could only be determined by the judiciary and not President Muhammadu Buhari.
It stressed that no matter the protests by the group, the President would not interfere in a judicial process by asking that El-Zakzaky should be set free.
The Presidency, in a statement released by the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mr Garba Shehu, appealed to members of the group to halt further street protests and await the outcome of judicial decision on their leader’s fate.
It read, “The Presidency appeals to El-Zakzaky-led Shiite members to desist from needless violent street protests and await the decision of the court in Kaduna where their leader is currently being tried.
“The issue of El-ZakZaky is before the court in Kaduna and his supporters should focus on his ongoing trial instead of causing daily damage, disruptions and public nuisance in Abuja.
“It is wrong to be in court and resort to violence at the same time in order to get justice for anybody accused.
“The destruction of public property in the name of protest is not within the right of this group of Shiite members and no government anywhere would have tolerated a situation where any group would take over public roads in cities as they have done in Abuja and interfere with the rights of other citizens who are prevented from reaching their destinations.”
It also said, “As far as this country’s Ministry of Justice is concerned, the case involving El-Zakzaky is no longer in its domain. The Federal Government no more has hands in the matter and, to that extent, the government at the centre can be said to be clear of any alleged violation of court orders as being trumpeted every day.
“These rallies and street dances ostensibly to openly insult the President and other leaders, threatening bloodshed will lead nowhere because President Buhari will not ask the country’s judiciary to abandon due process and set a suspect free. At the same time, the administration is determined to enforce the decision of the court clearly issued. The Buhari administration has absolutely no hand in the ongoing court case and the courts are free to determine the bail request and the final outcome.”
The Presidency further warned the group to respect the rights of other citizens and stop carrying on like they were above the law.