Centre backs Kaduna govt’s decision to appeal release of 91 Shiite members

A group, the Save Humanity Advocacy Centre (SHAC), has thrown its weight behind Kaduna State government’s resolve to appeal the release of 91 members of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) by a Federal High Court.

SHAC said this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos on Saturday, pointing out that the recent judgement, which freed the Shiite members after attempting to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai in 2015, killing a soldier in the process was the “most shocking and a travesty of Justice.”

Kaduna State government, dissatisfied with the ruling in favour of Zakzaky’s disciples, vowed to appeal the acquittal of the defendants in the State versus Mahdi Munkaila and 91 others, one of the cases arising from the Zaria clashes of December 2015.

Executive Director of the group, Joyce Ogwu, in a signed statement, described the release as a dangerous precedent which would give IMN the nerve to perpetuate further nefarious activities and encourage other militant groups to tow the same path.

He further described the court ruling in favour of the released people as a mockery of all that the judicial institution in Nigeria represents.

“The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre wishes to inform the members of the general public that the recent judgment of a Federal High Court in Kaduna releasing 91 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) over the killing of a soldier is at most shocking and a travesty of justice. This can be best described as a mockery of all that the judicial institution in Nigeria represents.

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“We consequently wish to state that this is indeed dangerous precedence in the sense that the members of the IMN would be bolstered by such misgivings to continue to perpetuate their nefarious activities in Nigeria since they have found an ally in the court.

“The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre wishes to state that this judgment would indeed send the wrong signal to other militant groups in Nigeria that they can always get away with their atrocities if they can compromise the integrity of the judiciary.

“The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre wishes to express its disappointment with the court ruling and also state that if care is not taken, such actions by the court is capable of festering acts of terrorism in Nigeria,” the executive director said.

He urged the judicial system in the country to see itself as a critical partner in the war against terrorism by doing all that was possible in ensuring that justice was served at all times, and in the interest of fairness and equity.

“The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre wishes to charge the Kaduna State government to appeal the judgment as quickly as possible to ensure that the threats which the IMN constitute to the society are not allowed to graduate into a monster.

“The Save Humanity Advocacy Centre calls on all lovers of democracy in Nigeria to see this judgment as an affront to our collective sensibilities as well as an attempt to humiliate further the families of the victims of the nefarious activities of the IMN in Nigeria,” the group started.

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