Shiites fault FG over El-Zakzaky’s continuous detention

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The Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) has said that the decision to set their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, free does not lie with Kaduna State, but the Federal Government agencies detaining him. It was responding to “insinuations” by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami; that the fate of the religious leader and his wife was in the hands of Kaduna State government.

The Shiites said they were not deceived by any move to deny the complicity of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government in the extra-judicial murder of over 1,000 members of IMN and the subsequent detention of their leader.

In a statement issued yesterday by the president of IMN media forum, Ibrahim Musa, the group claimed that the Federal Government’s complicity in the Zaria genocide of December 2015 was not in doubt because it was reportedly testified to by Buhari in an interview he granted a Qatari television channel while on a visit there in March 2016.

According the group, the attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of El-Zakzaky were by Federal Government agencies, not Kaduna State government and for the past four years, the Department of State Security (DSS) took custody of the Sheikh and his wife from the army. “Nobody is granted access to him except with the express permission of these federal agents,” he stated.

The IMN added that it even took the involvement of the AGF for anyone, even the Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry at the time, to access El-Zakzaky. “When the federal high court declared the detention of the Sheikh and his spouse illegal and unconstitutional, and ordered their immediate release from custody, the order was against the DSS, Nigeria Police Force (NPF) and the AGF, all representing the Federal Government. The Kaduna State government was never a party in any of these matters. So who is the AGF now fooling that it is purely a Kaduna State affair?

“It is not therefore possible, under any logical reasoning to exonerate Buhari and the junta he leads at the federal level from the continued contemptuous detention of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife, 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 high court.

“These charges have since been squashed by the same court when hundreds of those who stood trial, whom the duo supposedly aided and abetted, had since been discharged and acquitted. The case against El-Zakzaky is therefore only a mischievous attempt at keeping the revered leader in perpetual illegal detention. IMN appealed to the Buhari regime to stop deceiving the public by trying to exonerate itself in the matter. “The junta should simply obey the court judgment, free the revered Sheikh and stop further false cases with the deliberate intention of keeping him in detention.”