We wish to categorically repudiate the audacious insinuations by the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN that the fate of the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem 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.
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.
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 continuing 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 honor by the Saudi authorities on behalf of the federal government for the role the Nigerian military, an agent of the federal government, played?
Secondly, the attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of Sheikh Zakzaky were by federal government agencies. 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.
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.
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM
ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA