Ibrahim Zak’zaky, Shiite sect Leader not in Army custody- Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai , said on Thursday that
the arrested Shi’ite sect leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zak-Zaky, is no
longer in the custody of the Army.

Buratai said this when he met
with a delegation from the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs
(NSCIA) at the Army Headquarters, Abuja.

The Army chief, who was
responding to the request by NSCIA to meet with the sect leader, said
that El-Zak-Zaky had been handed over to the appropriate authorities for
prosecution.According to Buratai, lawlessness must not be
tolerated in the society especially when a part of the country is
confronted with terrorism.

“As a responsible and law abiding organisation, we will do all that we can to always safeguard lives and property.
for the whereabouts of the Shi’ite leader, he is not in our custody; he
has been handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution
because we don’t prosecute.
“What happened was avoidable and
unfortunate, we followed the rules of engagement as enshrined in the
constitution but what happened still happened,” he said.

Buratai dismissed claims in some quarters that the Army was after
members of the sect.He said that the army was only carrying out its
constitutional duties.He
urged members of the public to disregard information and pictures
contained in a section of the media, describing them as a false
reflection of what happened.

Earlier in his remark, the leader of
the NSCIA, Prof. Daud Noibi, said the group was at the Army
headquarters on a fact-finding mission.

Noibi expressed the
concerns of NSCIA on the Zaria incident and reaffirmed the commitment of
the council to return peace to the area.He appealed to the Army
authorities to allow the delegation to meet with the arrested leader of
the sect.

said the NSCIA would make efforts to douse the tension that had
engulfed parts of the North following Saturday’s incident in Zaria.

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