Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have faulted claims by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, over the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.
Malami had recently said that Zakzaky’s release could only be decided by the Kaduna State Government when questions came up as to why the IMN leader was not released alongside the Publisher of Sahara Reporters, Omoyele Sowore; and a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd).
However, in a statement issued on Sunday and signed by the President, Media Forum of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, the IMN said the fate of their leader and that of his wife is not in the hands of the Kaduna State Government under Governor Nasir el-Rufai.
They said the AGF should stop deceiving Nigerians and release their leader and wife who had since been ordered by the court to be released.
According to the statement, “The attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of Sheikh El-Zakzaky were by federal agencies and for the past four years, the Department of State Services had taken custody of the Sheikh and his wife from the Army.
“It was impossible to exonerate Buhari and his regime from the continued contemptuous detention of el-Zakzaky and his wife.”
The statement added, “The case against Sheikh el-Zakzaky is therefore only a mischievous attempt at keeping the revered leader in perpetual illegal detention.
“We wish to categorically repudiate the audacious insinuations by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami [SAN] that the fate of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky and his wife, lies in the hands of the Kaduna State government and its governor, Nasiru Ahmed el-Rufai.
“We are not deceived by any denial of complicity of General Buhari-led Federal Government. The Federal Government’s criminal complicity in the heinous genocide in Zaria of December 2015 that led to the extra-judicial murder of over a thousand members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the subsequent arrest and detention of the Sheikh is beyond doubt.
“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 attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of Sheikh el-Zakzaky were by federal government agencies.
“For the past four years, the Department of State Services 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.
“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 then is the AGF now fooling that it is purely Kaduna State affair?”
The IMN called on the Buhari regime to stop deceiving the public by trying to paint itself as saint saying, “It should simply obey the court judgement, free the revered Sheikh and stop further false and fake cases with the deliberate intention of keeping him in detention.”