Since December 2015 when the Nigerian Army arrested Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, and his wife, they have been held without charge. Not even a court ruling ordering Zakzaky’s release has moved the Nigerian government.
International rights group, Amnesty International, on Monday urged the government to comply with the December 2 court ruling which declared Zakzaky’s detention as illegal and unconstitutional and ordered his release within 45 days. The deadline expires today and yet the government has ignored the directive.
Amnesty Nigeria director Makmid Kamara said the government “will demonstrate a flagrant — and dangerous — contempt for the rule of law” if it continued with the “unlawful” detention of Zakzaky and ignored the ruling.
“This might be part of a wider effort to cover up the gruesome crimes committed by members of the security forces in Zaria in December 2015 that left hundreds dead,” Kamara said in an emailed statement.
Following a clash between members of the Islamic Movement and soldiers in December 2015, the Army launched a three-day offensive against the sect, resulting in the deaths of at least 350 members of the sect. A judicial commission of inquiry set up by the government of Kaduna state recommended prosecution for some soldiers who carried out the slaughter but up till now nothing has been done.