The members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, encountered the claim by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, on the continued detention of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and wife, Zeenat, on Sunday.
According to Omoyele Sowore, and a former National Security Adviser, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), there were questions on why El-Zakzaky and others ordered by the court to be released were not set free. In response, the minister had on Thursday said the release of El-Zakzaky could only be decided by the Kaduna State Government.
He said the IMN leader was being tried under the Kaduna State law and not the federal law.
But the IMN, also known as Shi’ite, on Sunday, countered the AGF, saying the fate of their leader and wife was not in the hands of the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai.
A statement by the President, Media Forum of the IMN, Ibrahim Musa, said the attacks, arrest and subsequent detention of Sheikh Zakzaky were by the Federal Government agencies.
Adding that for the past four years, the Department of State Services took custody of the Sheikh and his wife from the Army.
“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 quashed 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.
“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 Zakzaky, and his wife, lies in the hands of the Kaduna State Government and its Governor, Nasir El-Rufai. We are not deceived by any denial of the complicity of the Major General Buhari-led Federal Government.”
“The attacks, arrests and subsequent detention of Sheikh 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, 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 a Kaduna State affair?”