NIGERIANS in the United Kingdom stormed the Commonwealth office in London over the delay in the prosecution of leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibraheem El-zakzaky.
The IMN leader was accused of instigating his supporters to attack the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, General Tukur Buratai, in December 2015.
Two panel reports, the National Human Right Commission and the Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry have recommended the arrest and prosecution of all those involved in the attack.
In his Letter of protest to the Commonwealt, Mr. Segun Oke said, “The investigations of those events are profound. They all want the prosecution of the IMN leader, Mr Ibraheem El-Zakyzaky, and all those that supported him in that insurrection.
“The Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Governor Nasir El-Rufai clearly indicted him and recommended him for prosecution. The report of the National Human Rights Commission (NHCR) specifically demanded an immediate trial of El-Zakyzaky and his supporters for causing that injurious breach of the peace.
“Unfortunately, we have not seen the Nigerian authorities arraign Mr El-Zakyzaky for the crimes committed against the nation. We have not seen any of his followers that actively took part in unleashing violence on the Nigerian state being put on trial. What we have seen instead is El-Zakyzaky receiving five star treatment under the guise of be held in “protective custody”, he gets the best medical attention and protection that law abiding citizens can ill afford.
“Ordinary citizens that engage in street fights are dragged before the courts for breaching the peace but someone led his followers with weapons to overrun the streets and he is being feted.
“This situation has made his followers to rub salt in our collective injury. They have been made bold by the delay in prosecuting El-Zakyzaky and those of his members found culpable by the reports. They have done everything from threatening more mayhem to almost implementing the threats under the cover of street protests.
“In the course of mobilsiing for these so called protests and trek, there are reports that fleeing Boko Haram fighters entered several Nigerian cities under the cover of IMN members.
“They have also used the period to escalate their avowed commitment to undermining Nigeria’s sovereignty with their renewed invitation to the Islamic Republic of Iran to meddle in our internal affairs.
“We are therefore here to appeal to the Commonwealth to pass on our demand to the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Kaduna State government that they must do what the reports of NHCR and the Commission of Inquiry have recommended. Even without the prompting of the two reports the government should have done the needful by prosecuting everyone that precipitated that mayhem.
“Failure to prosecute these people, including El-Zakyzaky is making other groups think of coming out because it is now believed that it is fashionable to take on the state without consequences.
“The government must not also omit to consider bringing charges of subversion against members of the group for inviting Iranian intervention in Nigeria’s internal affairs. As a prelude to this, the government should investigate the finances of the group and its senior members to see if they have been beneficiary of Iranian sponsorship of terrorism
“Kindly help us convey to the Federal Government of Nigeria that it must treat our protest as a warning and a call to immediately arraign El-Zakyzaky and indeed any other member of his sect indicted in any of the reports on the events of December 2015”, he said.