In his 2017 New Year message to the nation, President Muhammad Buhari enjoined citizens to be in obedience to the laws of the land and the constitution, probably signaling his intention to do away with his government’s notoriety of disregard to national court orders that it has become famous of since it assumed power in 2015.
However to the consternation of people of conscience, on Monday 16/01/17, it evident that the President hasn’t changed in his penchant for disobedience of court orders. It was on that day he made it clear to all and sundry that his government is not ready to obey any court order that doesn’t suit its whims and caprices. If not why should a supposedly democratic government fail to execute the standing order given by the Federal High Court of Abuja that our revered Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zaeenat be released from illegal detention they have been subjected to since 14/12/15 within 45 days of issuing the order? This is a clear flagrant disregard to competent courts of the land.
The Judge of the Federal high court has made it abundantly clear that after hearing from lawyers of the two parties in the case, he has come to the conclusion that the continued detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife is a breach of their fundamental human rights and an infringement to their right of peaceful assembly, movement and belief. It is also a known fact that even at the expiration of the days within which the Federal government could appeal the court’s judgement, there was no appeal. Hence why should Sheikh Zakzaky, a righteous believer on the path of correcting the ills of the nation continue to languish in jail?
We are out today to demonstrate to Nigerians and the world that the way and manner in which Buhari’s government is disobeying court orders issued against it with impunity will not augur well to the nation. We urge citizens to join us in asking whether this government is a democratic one or just a dictatorship in the garb of democracy? An answer to this all important question is necessary because it is a known fact that democracy thrives well when court orders and the rule of law are followed to the latter by those in government. However it is unfortunate that this government is behaving otherwise not only once but on many court cases against it in flagrant disobedience to the courts.
We hereby reiterate our demand since after the Zaria massacre of 12th December, 2015, that well wishers in the country and the international community should mount additional pressure on President Buhari to obey court orders against it, especially as regards the immediate release of our Leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
We will not relent in our efforts to pursue our demand for justice peacefully as entitled to us by the constitution without fear or fright. Almighty Allah, the Lord of all creatures is our Benefactor, whom all will surely return to after death.
It is incontrovertible that we have been oppressed when the Nigerian Army without recourse to due process massacred 1000+ civilians in Zaria, demolished our houses, schools, religious centres and cemetery, compounded the brutality by dumping the bodies of our brothers and sisters in large mass graves without observing the Islamic burial rites. This is recognized by the international community as a war crime punishable before the international court of justice at Hague. Hence we will keep on putting pressure on the government till justice is done to the victims of this wanton oppression. We believe justice will prevail in the end. Allah the most high said "Lo! The sequel is for the righteous."
Sheikh Abdulhamid Bello
Wednesday 19th Rabi’ul Awwal, 1438 (18/01/17)