The Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation Abubakar Malami (SAN), has asked the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs NSCIA, to “formalise” its request for the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Punch reports.
The NSCIA delegation led by Prof. Daud Noibi had requested the constitutional release of Sheikh Zakzaky and several others who had been held incommunicado since they were swept up in a December military deadly action that left at least 1000 Nigerian Muslims dead and hundreds others in varying conditions. The NSCIA requested their release and being availed to receive legal and medical attention.
According to the constitution, no Nigerian can be detained for over 48 hours without a court order and attorney rights. Members of the Islamic movement have been detained for over three weeks now.
The response by the Attorney general on an issue where the Federal government is in violation of the nation’s constitution is demeaning and authoritarian.
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According to the Punch, the AGF said “So when your demands are formalised, I will treat and facilitate it to the appropriate quarters accordingly.”
The comments by the AGF as the illegal detention is rather continued have been described as an affront on Nigeria’s democracy. A NewsRescue analyst said, this is akin to asking for a “formal” letter to do “your sworn duty.”
The insulted members of the 10-man NSCIA delegation included, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, Malam Yunus Ustaz (SAN), Prof. Dahiru Yahaya, Mallam Musemil Hanga, Prof. Ibrahim Suleiman, Alhaji Ibrahim Jega, Malam Ishaq Sanni, Imam Ahmad, and Mr. Abubakar Tsav (rtd).
The Sultan of Sokoto is the President-General of the NSCIA.