Sheikh Zakzaky: Where The AGF Got It Wrong

A private legal practitioner, Barrister Haruna Magashi, has faulted the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, on his position regarding the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, who is being illegally detained against the judgement of a Federal High Court.

In an open letter written to the AGF reacting to the purported comments in the media that the continued detention of Sheikh Zakzaky was at the instance of the Kaduna state government and not the Federal government.

Read the full text of the open letter below:

OPEN LETTER TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE FEDERATION.

RELEASE OF SHEIKH ZAKZAKY: WHERE THE HONOURABLE ATTORNEY GENERAL GOT IT WRONG.

I have read your assertion as the Attorney General of the Federation that the continued detention of the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky is the responsibility of the Kaduna State Government and not the Government of the Federation.

With due respect to the Learned Silk, may I recall your attention to the order of the Federal High Court 6 made by Mr Kolawole J (as he then was) on 2nd December, 2016, wherein the learned Judge made various orders including the unconditional release of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenat Ibraheem. Others include provision of a dwelling house for the duo since theirs had been destroyed by federal agents, payment of N50m to them in compensation, provision of adequate security for them among others. All these shall be done within 45 days after the order was made.

Your Honour, the Respondents in that case against whom the orders were made are the SSS, Nigeria Police Force and the Attorney General of the Federation, your respected office. The Kaduna State Government was never a respondent in that case.

With respect and humility, we have learnt from your generous knowledge and the law that laws and orders are made to be obeyed. This very court order has not been set aside by any coordinate or appellate court. Hence, you know better than me that as far as our law is concerned, the order is still binding on you, and you are in disobedience of same. The ongoing case in Kaduna State does not vitiate this order. It is still valid and subsisting, and shall be complied with.

I urge you as the law officer of the Federation to comply with this court order on one hand, and adhere to the advice of your learned friend Mr Femi Falana SAN to liaise with Kaduna State Government and withdraw the charges against Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife. I know that this is within your powers and influence.

Professional regards,

H. Magashi Esq.

27/12/2019

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