- The presidency has maintained its position on the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky
- Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, on Friday, July 26, told journalists that the case is not in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari
- Shehu said that the constitution does not grant President Buhari any power to release El-Zakzaky while the cleric is still being tried by the Kaduna state government
- The presidential spokesman, however, said that the president can only plead for pardon on the cleric's behalf upon conviction
The presidency, through Garba Shehu, a presidential spokesman, on Friday, July 26, said that the constitution does not grant President Muhammadu Buhari to order the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Shehu said that President Buhari cannot order the Nigerian judiciary to release El-Zakzaky because he lacks the power to do so, adding that the cleric's fate can only be decided by the Kaduna state government, which is trying him, Daily Trust reports.
Speaking to journalists on Friday in Abuja, the presidential spokesman said that the only thing the president can do for the IMN's leader is to plead for pardon on his behalf after he has been convicted in Kaduna.
He said: “There is no latest that I know of. Government’s position hasn’t changed. El-Zakzaky is in the custody of the Kaduna state government. They are trying him in court for several alleged offenses. The federal ministry of justice is not in this, President Buhari has no hand in it.
“The constitution of Nigeria does not give the president power to stop investigations and trials, he can pardon upon conviction. On the El-Zakzaky issue, this whole thing is in the domain of Kaduna state. If only they know."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the federal government had been asked by the Islamic Republic of Iran to release El-Zakzaky to enable him travel to that country for medical treatment.
Nigerian authorities received the request in a letter written by the Iranian prosecutor-general, Mohammed Montazeri on Saturday, July 20.
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