The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) says the release of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, its leader, lies in the hands of President Muhammadu Buhari, not the Kaduna state government.
The group said this while responding to the claim of Abubakar Malami, attorney general of the federation (AGF), that the federal government cannot release El-Zakzaky.
Malami had ordered the release of Omoyele Sowore, convener of the #RevolutionNow Movement, and Sambo Dasuki, former national security adviser (NSA), from custody of the Department of State Services (DSS).
Based on this development, many demanded the release of El-Zakzaky who has been in DSS custody since 2015.
But the AGF said the fate of El-Zakzaky can only be decided by the Kaduna state government.
Responding on Sunday, Ibrahim Musa, IMN spokesman, said that the group is not deceived by the “denial of complicity of general Buhari-led Federal Government.”
Musa said the president while being interviewed on “Qatari Television Channel” in March 2016, admitted that “the continued illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was part of his major foreign policy achievements.”
“Firstly, the federal government’s criminal complicity in the heinous genocide in Zaria of December 2015 that led to the extrajudicial murder of over a thousand members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the subsequent arrest and detention of the Sheikh is beyond doubt,” Musa said.
“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 Saudi Crown Prince’s self-confessions during a visit to the US that the brutal and inhuman suppression and the continued illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was part of his major foreign policy achievements further confirm the federal government’s involvement, as foreign policy issues are in the exclusive list of the federal government.
“Was that not why the Saudi king was the first to call General Buhari in December 2015, soon after the Zaria genocide, to congratulate him for what he called a victory against terrorism? Was that not also why General Buhari wanted to smuggle Nigeria into a Saudi-led military alliance at the time in the name of fighting terrorism? Was not the then Nigerian Defense Minister, Mansur Dan Ali accorded honour by the Saudi authorities on behalf of the federal government for the role the Nigerian military, an agent of the federal government, played?”
The group also said the order by a federal high court against the DSS, Nigeria police force and the AGF, for the immediate release of their leader is proof that the federal government is responsible for El-Zakzaky’s continuous detention.
“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 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,” the group said.
“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?
“It is not, therefore, possible, under any logical reasoning, to exonerate General Buhari and the junta he leads at the federal level from the continued contemptuous detention of Sheikh 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 state high court, these charges have since been squashed 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 Zakzaky is therefore only a mischievous attempt at keeping the revered leader in perpetual illegal detention.
“Finally, we call on the Buhari regime to stop deceiving the public by trying to paint itself as saint in a place its actions are glaringly worse than those of the devil. 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.”
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