From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
Following the release of the leader of Shiites, Ibrahim El-zazaky and his wife, Zeenat by Kaduna State High Court, the Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) have expressed the hope that their kinsmen who have been allegedly detained illegally for some months by the Kaduna State government over one alleged crime or the other will soon regain their freedom.
El-zazaky and his wife were freed penultimate Wednesday by Kaduna High Court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada after six years trial over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, public peace distance, among others.
The Court ruled in their favour of no case submission filed by their leading Counsel, Femi Falana (SAN).
However, the Spokesman of SOKAPU, Luka Binniyat,reacting to El-Zakzaky’s release in a statement, said, “We are however, happy, like in this case again, that the Judiciary stood by truth, conscience and Justice.
“The discharge and acquittal of Shiek Zazzaky and his wife after over five years of unlawful detention and trial is one of several other acquittals of low and high profile indigenes and residents of Kaduna state who have annoyed Governor Nasir el-Rufai over one issue or the other and sent to prison.
“We rejoice with the Shiek over his new found freedom and congratulate the Judge for his courage and forthrightness in that landmark Judgement.
“SOKAPU is indeed very elated by this development in the same way we celebrated in 2019 the discharge and acquittal of the highly respected Southern Kaduna elder statesman, the Wazirin Adara, Engr Bawa Magani, who is the second-in-command to the 2018 assassinated traditional ruler of Adara Chiefdom – the second biggest traditional Council in Kaduna State after Zaria Emirate.
“He was arrested like a common thief with eight of the most high ranking elders of Adara land, including a retired Police Commissioner and slammed in Kaduna prison for 120 days in the same circumstances that Zazzaky was jailed.
“Their arrest came during the peak of the mass slaughter of Adara natives and the destruction of their villages by those who surviving victims always identify as armed Fulani herdsmen.
“Investigation by the police later cleared them of any wrong. Today also, 15 Atyap Community leaders from Zangon Kataf LGA in Southern Kaduna who have lost scores of their kinsmen and villages in the hands of the same assailants are still on trial after being detained for over three months in police cells without trial from 31st March to 30th June, 2021.
“In Kaduna state of today, leaders of a minority religious sect and ethnic groups who come under pogrom from state brutality or from a certain state-protected ethnic group, are most likely to suffer prosecution than the culprits themselves”.