Abubakar Malami, Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, has said that only the Kaduna State Government can order the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).
In a response to The Nation enquiry, Malami, through Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, said El-Zakzaky is being tried under the Kaduna State law and not federal law.
He said his case is different from those of Omoyele Sowore and Col.Sambo Dasuki (rtd), who were released from custody on Christmas Eve following his direction to the Directorate of State Services (DSS) to comply with the court’s ruling which granted them bail.
Followers of El-Zakzaky renewed their demand for the release of the Shiites leader in Nigeria after Dasuki’s and Sowore’s release.
“In determining the authority responsible for compliance with a court order with particular reference to bail, one must be guided by the law under which the accused person is charged and granted bail.
“On one hand, where the accused is charged under state law, the order of the court granting bail for an accused person bail is targeted at the state authorities for compliance.
“On the other hand, where charges are framed under federal offences, the order granting bail is targeted at the federal authorities for compliance,” he said.
El-Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat were arrested in Kaduna in 2015 after an attack on the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, an act declared by the Army as an assassination attempt.
Despite a court order for their release in December 2016, the IMN leaders is still in detention.