Members of the House of Representatives have asked the federal government to obey the court orders asking for the release of Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) also known as Shi’ites.
At the plenary session on Wednesday, July 10, the lawmakers said the continued protest of IMN members could cause great unrest in the country, The Cable reports.
It should be noted that el-Zakzaky was arrested after the group had a clash with the convoy of the chief of army staff in Kaduna state in 2015.
Many court orders have granted him bail but the government has continued to put in him detention, an issue which have stirred his followers to protest.
The minority leader of the House, Ndudi Elumelu, moved a motion asking his colleagues to investigate the matter and ensure that there are adequate security measures in place at the chamber.
Though some of the House members agreed with the need to tighten security around the green chamber, they said there is a need to tackle the root cause of the group’s protest.
They said the reason why Shi’ites has been protesting was because their leaders has been behind bars, adding that there was the reason that led to the emergence of the Boko Haram terrorist group in the country.
A lawmaker form Akwa Ibom, Onofiok Luke, said it is quite bad that while the lawmaker make laws, the federal government goes against the rule of law in refusing to obey court orders in the release of the IMN leader.
“If the court has given an order for the release of the man, we should cal on the government to release him. The discourse should not be on the invasion of the national assembly alone,” he said.
Bamidele Salam from Osun state said described the continued detention of the Shi’ites leader as an injustice to all.
“I want to urge the federal government to look into the matter of the leader of this movement and allow the rule of law to take its course … to ensure that Boko Haram is not replicated in Shiites movement.
“If we are able to secure the national assembly, what happens to the man and woman in the market elsewhere?“
Another lawmaker from Plateau suggested a constant surveillance of el-Zakazaky to monitor his activities as an alternative to detaining him.