By Luminous Jannamike
ABUJA – Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, has dismissed claims by the presidency that the fate of its Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky lies with the courts not the federal government.
In a statement signed by President of IMN’s Media Forum, Ibrahim Musa, the Muslim sect slammed the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu for defending the stance of the Federal Government on the continued detention El-Zakzaky.
He noted that since December, 2016 a federal high court sitting in Abuja, presided by Justice Kolawole had freed Sheikh Zakzaky and restored his fundamental human rights, but the government refused to obey that court order.
The statement reads in part, “We wish to state as follows: that the protests on the streets of Abuja are as a result of the government’s disregard to the judgement of a court of competent jurisdiction, the Federal High Court Abuja, which freed the leader of the Movement from an illegal detention insinuated by the government as ‘Protective Custody’.
“That it is not possible to exonerate President Muhammadu Buhari from the genocide perpetrated by the Nigerian Army under his command as Commander-in-Chief, where over 1000 unarmed members of the Movement including men, women and children were killed on 12th-14th of December 2015.
“That the government has refused to abide by the report of Judicial Commission of Inquiry calling for the arrest and prosecution of soldiers that perpetrated the killing of peaceful members of the movement in Zaria.
“That in December 2016 the Federal High Court in Abuja has freed Sheikh Zakzaky from the illegal detention, ordered that he, along with his wife, be compensated to the tune of N50m, a house be provided for him in any part of the country he desires and security be provided for his protection.
“That the government concocted a new case in Kaduna, three years after the Zaria massacre, accusing the leader of the movement whose wife was shot, three children were killed, elder sister and nephew were burned alive and he was also shot severally, of abetting homicide.
“That the Buhari led government deliberately intends to instigate the Movement into violence through all its actions.
“We therefore call on the Nigerian government to stop deceiving the public by trying to paint itself as Saint in a place its actions are worse than those of the devil.
“The government should simply obey the court judgement, free the revered Sheikh and stop further fake cases in courts with the deliberate intention of keeping him in detention.
“The continued detention of the revered Sheikh despite his deteriorating health condition is only an act of torture and waiting for his death with the intention of instigating widespread violence in the country using the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. To prove this wrong, the government should Free Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.”