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Islamic Movement in Nigeria demands unconditional release of Sheikh Zakzaky


Members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), have called on the Nigerian Federal Government to re­lease their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, uncondi­tionally and  without further delay.

IMN also said that they will not accept “protective custody” of their leader by the Department of State Services (DSS), since the DSS has re­fused to grant him access to his leading counsel, Mr Femi Falana for some months now.

A statement yesterday by IMN media spokesman, Ibrahim Musa said, People with conscience all over the world were baffled, when on Tuesday 14th June, 2016 the Directorate of State Services, DSS mentioned before a Federal High Court in Abuja that it is holding the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky “in protective custody” in order to fend him off from those who are hell bent on murdering him.

The Counter Affidavit filed by the Directorate of State Services has raided and clarified so many issues surrounding the continued incarceration of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

1. The Directorate of State Services has made it clear to the Nigerian public and the international community that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat Ibraheem have not committed any offence known to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

2. The Directorate of State Services has also confirmed that the injuries sustained by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat Ibraheem are life threatening and that they have spent N5, 110,000.00(Five Million, One Hundred and Ten Thousand)Naira only treating them of gunshot wounds.

3. That Directorate of State Services have also confirmed that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat Ibraheem were never handed over to the Police for any form of investigation or interrogation.

But isn’t it ridiculous to detain an innocent Sheikh? Where in our statues books and the laws setting up that Directorate of State Services is it mentioned that a person who has not committed any offence and who no prima facie evidence links to the commission of an offence should be detained indefinitely? Indefinite detention and detention without trial are only associated with military regimes and not democratic regimes.

Secondly the DSS is admitting there are some people in the high corridors of power who want to extra judicially kill Sheikh Zakzaky, hence its giving him “protective custody” As a follow up question, why didn’t the DSS mention the name of those It is accusing of wanting to see the Sheikh dead? Are they sacred cows that the public would not be told their names? But it is public knowledge already that the GOC of One Mechanised Division Kaduna gave the order on behalf of the Nigerian Army that a “cordon and search operation” be carried out in Zaria that ultimately led to many crimes against humanity. Is the DSS now telling the Nation that it is protecting Sheikh Zakzaky from the murderers in the Nigerian Army?

It can be inferred also from the statement of the DSS before the court that all the allegations proffered by the army on why it carried out the massacre in Zaria are all false accusations. It is simply a case of some religious zealots making use of their offices to persecute a religious body that they hate so much with passion. What is the DSS doing to bring to justice those it said are plotting to kill Sheikh Zakzaky?

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria won’t accept this “protective custody” explanation of the DSS, since for some months now it has refused to grant the Sheikh access to his leading Counsel, Mr Femi Falana. For the submission of the DSS before the court to gain any merit, it should with all urgency allow the lawyers of Sheikh Zakzaky to meet and talk to him.

Also from the statement of the DSS before the court, it can be implied that the secret police of the federal government is playing blame games on a sensitive issue involving the lives of over 1000 people lost to the carnage in Zaria. If not, how can one reconcile the statements of the presidency, Army headquarters, One Mechanised Division Nigerian Army Kaduna and that of the Nigerian police with the revelations of the DSS in court?

We are therefore calling on the Federal Government to release Sheikh Zakzaky without any conditionality. It is only this step that will explain away the mystery of “protective custody”.


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About the author

Sydney Chesterfield

Poet, Playwright, Philosopher, Humanitarian, mad lover of children and unflinching fighter for equality on all grounds viz. Women's rights, child rights, sine die.

Twitter: @syd_field