From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
MEMBERS of Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN ), Shiites have called on the Federal Government to release their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, unconditionally and without further delay.
Shiites also said that they will not accept “protective custody” of their leader by the Department of State Services (DSS), since the DSS has refused to grant him access to his leading counsel, Mr Femi Falana for some months now.
A statement yesterday by IMN media spokesman, Ibrahim Musa said, “For the submission of the DSS before the court to gain any merit, it should with all urgency allow the lawyers of Sheikh Zakzaky to meet and talk to him”.
Sheik Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat have been in detention since December 12, 2015, following his arrest after his members clashed with the Nigerian Army in Zaria, where many people lost their lives.
The statement said, “We are therefore calling on the Federal Government to release Sheikh Zakzaky without any conditionality. It is only this step that will explain the mystery of “protective custody.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria won’t accept this “protective custody” explanation of the DSS, since for some months now it has refused to grant the Sheikh access to his leading counsel, Mr. Femi Falana. For the submission of the DSS before the court to gain any merit, it should with all urgency allow the lawyers of Sheikh Zakzaky to meet and talk to him.
“People with conscience all over the world were baffled, when on Tuesday 15th June, 2016 the Directorate of State Services, DSS mentioned before a Federal High Court in Abuja that it is holding the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky “in protective custody” in order to fend him off from those who are hell bent on murdering him.
“The counter affidavit filed by the Directorate of State Services has aided and clarified so many issues surrounding the continued incarceration of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The Directorate of State Services has made it clear to the Nigerian public and the international community that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat Ibraheem have not committed any offence known to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The Directorate of State Services has also confirmed that the injuries sustained by the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat Ibraheem are life threatening and that they have spent N5, 110,000.00 treating them of gunshot wounds.
“That Directorate of State Services has also confirmed that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat Ibraheem were never handed over to the Police for any form of investigation or interrogation.
“But isn’t it ridiculous to detain an innocent Sheikh? Where in our statues books and the laws setting up that Directorate of State Services is it mentioned that a person who has not committed any offence and without any prima facie evidence links to the commission of an offence should be detained indefinitely? Indefinite detention and detention without trial are only associated with military regimes and not democratic regimes.
“Secondly the DSS is admitting there are some people in the corridors of power who want to extra judicially kill Sheikh Zakzaky, hence its giving him “protective custody”. As a follow up question, why didn’t the DSS mention the name of those it is accusing of wanting to see the Sheikh dead? Are they sacred cows that the public would not be told their names? But it is public knowledge already that the GOC of One Mechanised Division Kaduna gave the order on behalf of the Nigerian Army that a “cordon and search operation” be carried out in Zaria that ultimately led to many crimes against humanity. Is the DSS now telling the Nation that it is protecting Sheikh Zakzaky from the murderers in the Nigerian Army?
“It can be inferred also from the statement of the DSS before the court that all the allegations proffered by the army on why it carried out the massacre in Zaria are all false accusations.
It is simply a case of some religious zealots making use of their offices to persecute a religious body that they hate so much. What is the DSS doing to bring to justice those it said are plotting to kill Sheikh Zakzaky?