NSCIA probes whereabout of Shi’ite leader, El-Zakzaky

Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky
Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky

A committee put in place by Nigeria’s supreme Muslim body over Saturday’s clash between members of the Shi’ia sect and the Nigerian Army, is investigating the whereabout of the group’s leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, after the army said he was no longer in its custody.

Mr. Zakzaky was arrested by soldiers, reportedly with gunshot wounds, on Sunday morning in his house in Gyellesu, Zaria, Kaduna state.

More than 60 members of the group were massacred during the clash with the army.

The group said hundreds, if not over a thousand, of its members were killed.

The army has not given any figure of casualties, but said troops used force after the Shi’ites blocked the convoy of its chief and attempted to kill him.

A seven-man committee, set up by Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, NSCIA, led by the chairman of Muslims in South West Nigeria, Doud Naibi, on Thursday met with the chief of army, Tukur Buratai, in his office in Abuja.

Mr. Buratai told his shocked guests that the army no longer had Mr. El-Zakzaky in its custody.

He said the Shi’ite leader had been handed over to relevant authorities for prosecution.

A member of the committee who declined to be named because he was not permitted to talk to the media on the work of the committee told PREMIUM TIMES that the committee “has now written to the State Security Service and the Nigerian Police to inquire if they have Sheikh Ibrahim Elzakzaky in their custody”.

He said the committee need to see the Shi’ite leader to “know his state of health and get first hand information on what transpired so that an amicable solution on the way forward could be found”.

When contacted, the secretary-general of NSCIA, Is-haq Oloyede, declined to give details of what the committee has done so far.

He simply said, “I am just interested on how we can return peace and ensure everything is back to normal. We can only continue to urge for caution on the part of all parties”.

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