“We are still adamant in our request that the Sheikh be set free unconditionally, because up to now the govt has not been able to justify the atrocities committed by the army that led to his arrest.”
The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, head of NSCIA
On Wednesday 13th January, 2016 some members of the contact committee set up by the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) visited Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky, leader of the Islamic Movement, who is incarcerated by the federal government since 14th December, 2015.
According to a member of the committee, Prof. Dahiru Yahyah, they met the Sheikh and his wife’s Sister Zeenah Ibraheem in Abuja, who are all recuperating from the bullet wounds they sustained during the army’s attack on the Islamic Movement in Zaria.
The Islamic movement welcomes this development. It is a step forward in quelling the anxiety of the teeming millions, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, all over the globe, in knowing at least the where about of the Sheikh and the condition of his health.
However, we are still adamant in our request that the Sheikh be set free unconditionally, because up to now the government has not been able to justify the unjustifiable atrocities committed by the army that led to his arrest.
So far we have been able to establish some figures that indicate how gruesome the avoidable attack by the Nigerian army has been.
A) In our list there are about 730 people, men and women, who are still missing, since that fateful Saturday 12th December, 2015. These missing people were either killed by the army or are in detention, but whose where about is still unknown and undisclosed.
B) Also there are 220 brothers of the Islamic movement in detention in Kaduna Central prison, some of them with fatal gun wounds and burns.
C) Reliable reports from some detention facilities owned by the Nigerian army in Kaduna, Bauchi and Abuja have confirmed the detention of some brothers of the Islamic movement therein.
D) As at the time of writing this statement, no single corpse has been handed to the families of those killed.
In as much as we commend the NSCIA for its effort to resolve this crisis initiated and executed by the military, we still demand answers to some questions that the Chief of army staff couldn’t answer, when the contact committee met him in his office.
The questions are as follows as narrated in a national daily by a member of the committee: “What is the actual number of the dead, and when are they going to be handed over to their relatives for proper burial? Are the injured receiving adequate treatment?”
In view of the above, we renew our call for:
1. The unconditional release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and all his followers unjustifiably being detained.
2. Corpses of those killed should be handed over for proper and befitting Islamic burial.
3.We also reiterate that an independent judicial commission under the watchful eyes of the international community be set up to unearth the truth in this matter and the perpetrators of the Zaria 12th -14th pogrom(massacre) be brought to book.
Only then can justice be seen and said to have been done.
Therefore, we call on the well-meaning Nigerians and Human Rights activists here in Nigeria and the diaspora to keep on with the pressure on the federal government until justice is done on Zaria massacre of 12th December, 2015.
President Media Forum Islamic Movement
Second Press Statement
Islamic Movement Submits Memoranda to National Human Rights Commission Today
As the Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the abled leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky submits its memoranda to the National Human Rights Commission concerning the December 12-14, 2015 pogrom on the Movement by the Nigerian Army, we want to put on records the following:
Our submission is as required by the National Human Rights Commission after the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) filed a complaint of assassination attempt on his life.
Submissions were done both individually and collectively, with signatories being mainly victims of the merciless clampdown on the Movement as well as eye witnesses and relatives of the victims. Memoranda contain detailed accounts of activities that transpired in those days.
We also wish to voice out our concern and fear of getting any justice from the NHRC due to the degree of haste it appears to be unusually applying in this case without necessarily being thorough.
The setting up of the investigation panel was within a record few days of the submission of the petition by the Army Chief. The panel only gave barely three weeks for parties to submit their memo.
However, with this apparent speed, it seems like an attempt at covering some facts. Firstly, the scope and scale of the assault on our members was grave.
So many were killed and many others are being held incommunicado in many military, police and other detention centers. These are key witnesses. Access to them is crucial for justice in this matter.
Secondly, the government through several of its agents destroyed our property without recourse to law. By so doing, a substantial part of our evidence has been completely destroyed.
Laying our hands on backups where it exists is hindered by the ongoing psychological, social and physical trauma the pogrom put us through.
In effect, our members have suffered immense loses, to the extent that 3 weeks is too short for them to get themselves to normalcy enough to make any comprehensive presentation to the commission.
To put it in context, we submitted a petition to this Human Rights Commission following the brutal massacre of 34 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, including the 3 sons of Shaikh Zakzaky in July 2014.
Till this minute, the commission has not acted in the manner it is speedily doing currently with the case of Army Chief’s petition. One wonders whether the law is different depending on position one occupies in government.
While we agree that justice delayed is justice denied, this doesn’t preclude giving all parties adequate time for fair hearing. Justice must not only be done, it must be acceptably seen to be done.
Finally, we call on all men and women of conscience to stand up for the truth. We renew our call for the unconditional release of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and all his followers unjustifiably being detained.
Corpses of those killed should be handed over for proper and befitting Islamic burial.
We also reiterate that an independent judicial commission under the watchful eyes of the international community be set up to unearth the truth in this matter and the perpetrators of the Zaria 12th -14th pogrom be brought to book.
Only then can justice be seen and said to have been done.
President Media Forum of the Islamic Movement
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