The Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said yesterday that the Shi’ite sect leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zak-Zaky, who was arrested last weekend by the Nigerian Army is no longer in their custody.
The Army Chief disclosed this when he met with a delegation from the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) at the Army Headquarters in Abuja, adding that the sect leader has been handed over to the appropriate authorities for prosecution.
He said: “As a responsible and law abiding organisation, we will do all that we can to always safeguard lives and property.
“As 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 added.
He also dismissed claims in some quarters that the Army had a bad blood towards members of the sect.
He however urged members of the public to neglect the information contained in a section of the media, describing them as a false reflection of what happened.