El-Zakzaky’s release: IMN fires back at AGF


Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Sunday countered the reasons given by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, for the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.

Following the release of the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore; and a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd.), there had been questions as to why el-Zakzaky and others ordered by court to be released are still being held by the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

Malami had, on Thursday, said el-Zakzaky’s release could only be decided by the Kaduna State Government.

The AGF further said the IMN leader was being tried under the Kaduna State law and not under the federal law.

However, on Sunday, the IMN, also known as Shi’ites, countered the AGF, saying that the fate of their leader and that of his wife were not in the hands of the Kaduna State Government under Governor Nasir el-Rufai.

They said the AGF should stop deceiving Nigerians and release their leader and wife who had since been ordered by the court to be released

According to a statement by the President, Media Forum of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, the attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of Sheikh El-Zakzaky were by Federal agencies, adding that for the past four years, the Department of State Services had taken custody of the Sheikh and his wife from the Army.

They added that it was impossible to exonerate Buhari and his regime from the “continued contemptuous detention” of el-Zakzaky and his wife.

The statement reads in part, “Even as the government mischievously concocted a case in Kaduna three years after the illegal detention, accusing them of aiding and abetting homicide before the Kaduna State High Court, these charges have since been quashed by the same court when hundreds of those who stood trial, who the duo supposedly aided and abetted, had since been discharged and acquitted.

“The case against Sheikh el-Zakzaky is therefore only a mischievous attempt at keeping the revered leader in perpetual illegal detention,” the group said.

The statement added, “We wish to categorically repudiate the audacious insinuations by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami [SAN] that the fate of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky and his wife, lies in the hands of the Kaduna State government and its governor, Nasiru Ahmed el-Rufai.

“We are not deceived by any denial of complicity of General Buhari-led Federal Government.

“The Federal Government’s criminal complicity in the heinous genocide in Zaria of December 2015 that led to the extra-judicial murder of over a thousand members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the subsequent arrest and detention of the Sheikh is beyond doubt.

“This much was accepted and testified to by the General himself in an interview he granted a Qatari Television Channel while on a visit there as early as March 2016.

“The attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of Sheikh el-Zakzaky were by federal government agencies.

“For the past four years, the Department of State Services took custody of the Sheikh and his wife from the Army.

“Nobody is granted access to see him except with the express permission of these federal agents.

“It even had to take the involvement of the AGF for anyone; even the Kaduna state established Judicial Commission of Inquiry at the time, to access Sheikh Zakzaky.

“Furthermore, when the federal high court declared the detention of the Sheikh and his spouse illegal and unconstitutional and ordered their immediate release from custody forthwith, the order was against the DSS, Nigeria Police Force and the AGF, all representing the federal government.

“The Kaduna State government was never a party in any of these matters.

“Who is the AGF now fooling that it is purely Kaduna State affair?”

The IMN called on the regime to release their leader.

“Finally, we call on the Buhari regime to stop deceiving the public by trying to paint itself as saint.

“It should simply obey the court judgment, free the revered Sheikh and stop further false and fake cases with the deliberate intention of keeping him in detention.”