A Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Prosecution, Okoi Obono-Obla, has affirmed that the Federal Government cannot prosecute leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, stressing that only the Kaduna State Government can.
Speaking during an event on the training for institutions in the Justice sector, Obono-Obla said it was not the responsibility of the Federal Government to prosecute the Shi’ite leader.
The Presidential aide explained that since the law El-Zakzaky infringed upon are Kaduna State laws, the state should prosecute him.
Obono-Obla said, “It is not a federal crime; this matter is a local crime. The law infringed upon by El-Zakzaky is not a federal offence. If he blocked the roads, if he confronted the soldiers, if they assaulted the soldiers, these are local offences that the Kaduna State government can try.
“The offense was committed in Kaduna, against the laws of the Kaduna State government, so ask Governor Nasir El-Rufai why he has not charged El-Zakzaky to court.
“You have a group that does not recognise the constitution, a group that infringes on the rights of Nigerians if they go out on their procession; they carry dangerous weapons and try to intimidate everybody; they block the roads and don’t obey laws. Do we allow such group to trample on the rights of everybody?”
El-Zakzaky has been in detention since December 2015, after members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, also known as Shi’ite clashed with the Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
In December 2016, the court ordered the Department of State Services, DSS, to free El-Zakzaky and his wife but the Shi’ite leader has continued to languish in custody.
The court had also ordered a compensation which was to be paid within 40 days from the day the judgment was delivered.