Residents of Kaduna State have expressed relief over the release of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Malama Zeenat, by a Kaduna State high court.
The court presided over by Justice Gideon Kurada last Wednesday discharged and acquitted Zakzaky and his wife even though the Kaduna State government says it has filed fresh charges at a Federal High Court and would appeal the court’s judgment.
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However, some residents who spoke with Arewa Trust Weekly described Zakzaky’s release as a welcome development, adding that it will bring an end to the long years of inconveniences they faced during the trial.
Ibrahim Sadiq, a resident of Tudun Wada, Kaduna South Local Government Area of the state, expressed happiness that the Shi’ite leader’s trial ended peacefully.
“I was not happy with the way and manner the police blocked certain major roads within the metropolis on days of Zakzaky’s trial. It caused residents a lot of problems especially when one had an emergency.”
He said even though he is not a Shi’ite member, he had joined other Shi’ites in celebrating when he learnt that the case had ended peacefully.
Sadiq advised security agencies, especially the police, to come up with new strategies of securing courthouses without necessarily blocking major roads which hindered people’s right of movement.
Also speaking, Jerry Gokum said the release of the IMN leader was a relief for residents who have suffered years of traffic inconveniences on trial days.
“Roads were usually blocked by security agents on days of the trials and it’s a lot of inconvenience for residents who plan to go to town for one activity or the other. We are glad it is over,” he said.
Hajiya Jamila Musa, who has a shop on Ahmadu Bello Way, also expressed relief over the release of Zakzaky: “Any day the trial came up, I would lose a lot of money because I could not open my shop.
“I do not know him personally; I have only heard stories about him, but because of the problems associated with his trial, I prayed to God to bring an end to his matter so that we can go about our business without hindrance.
“I thank God that my prayer has been answered. When I heard he had been released by the court, I was so happy and I even bought drinks for some of my customers and others around my business premises.”
She appealed to the government to let sleeping dogs lie and end the matter in order to put an end to tensions in the state.