By Luminous Jannamike, Abuja

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has asked the National Human Rights Commission to prevail on the Federal Government to release the international passports of their supreme leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife.

The group while staging a protest at the head office of the commission on Monday in Abuja, accused the government of gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the couple.

IMN said nine months after a Kaduna High Court discharged and acquitted the El-Zakzakys of terrorism charges, the authorities had refused to release the travel documents to them to enable them to access urgent medical attention overseas.

The group also vowed to hold those in positions of power responsible, if anything untoward should happen to them.

Speaking during the protest, the leader of the Academic Forum of the Movement, Mukhtar Abdurrahman Auwal, said, “It is well-known that the Sheikh and his wife Malama Zeenah are suffering from numerous health challenges that cannot be treated in Nigeria, and the authorities have refused to release or issue new international passports to the couple.

“The public is fully aware of the Zaria massacre executed from 12th to 14th December 2015. It was an “all-out-war” to eliminate the Sheikh and dislodge the Islamic movement under his distinguished tutelage, ‘once and for all’.

“Against all odds, the prime target, his wife and several other family members survived the arson and all that attack. Yet, no sooner had four soldiers “discovered” the whereabouts of the survivors in a laundry room than they started to rain bullets on them, instantly killing three of his sons, leaving the Sheikh and his wife ‘waiting to die from the lethal gunshot wounds. But the duo are still alive with multiple health complications, very much in need of urgent medical attention.

“Ever since the massacre, the Sheikh and his wife have been battling with life-threatening health complications.

“While in detention awaiting trial, there was also the issue of urgent medical treatment abroad. After incessant calls, protests and counsel arguments, the authorities reluctantly acquiesced to the medical trip to India for the prosecution to continue after the couple’s return to Nigeria.

“Unfortunately, the Nigerian authorities hijacked the whole process by trying to use doctors in India. Realizing that their sinister plan was botched, the regime quickly boarded the couple back, and then put the oppressed patients behind bars immediately thereafter.

“Justice was delayed and prolonged for more than five years but at last the court discharged and acquitted the Sheikh and his wife in July 2021. Following the court triumph, their immediate preoccupation has been to cater for their medical needs abroad but their international passports have been denied for almost nine months running now.

“Once more, they have to resort to the court but still the authorities continue to trample on the court procedures, causing unnecessary delay.
It is pertinent for the public to note that the freedom of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife is still being denied.

“After patiently waiting for nine months, we have no option but to return to the streets of Abuja, to protest this unholy conspiracy. In view of the foregoing, we demand the unconditional release of the couple’s international passports.“

Vanguard News Nigeria


Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.