DSS says not aware of arrest as Amnesty calls for release of IMN spokesman, Ibrahim Musa
Ibrahim Musa, the Editor of Almizan Hausa Newspaper and former spokesman for the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as the Shiites group, has been arrested by the Department of State Services (DSS).
SaharaReporters on Wednesday learnt that Musa was arrested while he was on his way to Medina, Saudi Arabia.
His arrest by the secret police coincides with the birthday of the prophet,” a source revealed.
When SaharaReporters called Dr Peter Afunanya, the spokesperson for the DSS, he said he is not aware of the arrest of the Editor-in-chief of Almizan Newspaper and former spokesman for the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim Musa.
Replying to a text message sent by journalists, Afunanya simply said, “I’m not aware of that pls.”
Meanwhile, a statement issued on Wednesday by Abdullahi Usman on behalf of Musa’s family confirmed the arrest.
Musa’s family has called for his immediate release following his sudden arrest at the busy Kano Airport.
The family said no reason had been given for Musa’s arrest and that he was with a family member identified as Binta Sulaiman when he was “abducted by Nigeria’s secret police, DSS, at the Aminu Kano International Airport early morning on Wednesday while on his way to Saudi Arabia for the lesser Hajj (Umrah)”.
“This is announcing the abduction of the Editor-in-chief of Almizan Newspaper, a weekly news magazine published in Hausa, Malam Ibrahim Musa, by the Department of State Service (DSS).” Meanwhile, no reasons have been provided by the authorities for his abduction even as he is known for his role in the call for the release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), who was arrested at the wake of a clampdown and extrajudicial killing of about 1000 of his followers by the Nigerian government in 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna State.
“He was part of the campaign that got the Federal High Court judgement ordering the release and compensation of Sheikh Zakzaky, the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, for which it is believed the security agents who lost in the case are displeased.
Human rights organisations, especially the Amnesty International (AI), had pressured the immediate past Governor of Kaduna state, Malam Nasiru Elrufai to publicly announce that his government had buried about 350 people killed in the extrajudicial killing in a mass grave at Mando village in Kaduna.
“Ibrahim Musa is known to have been active in speaking against the acts of state terrorism, extrajudicial killings and marginalisation of a minority group of Muslims by the Nigerian Government under President Muhammadu Buhari.
“He placed his life on the line to ensure justice is done and thousands of those arrested following the state-managed mass murder were released by the government using available judicial means.
“We wish to call for the immediate release and safety of Malam Ibrahim Musa whose only crime is standing against genocide and disregard for law and order perpetrated by those in power under the Buhari regime.
“We also wish to draw the attention of the authorities and other stakeholders to the dangers behind extending the murder activities in which innocent men, women and children were extrajudicially killed by the immediate past regime, to the current regime of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
We want to believe that the current government of President Bola Tinubu would not want to identify itself with the abuse of democratic tenets, human rights abuse and intimidation through genocide perpetrated by the immediate past regime.
“Hence, we reiterate the call for his immediate and unconditional release.”
The IMN has a history of deadly attacks by the Nigerian government.
On December 12, 2015, the Nigerian Army carried out what is now known as Zaria Massacre or Buhari Massacre in Zaria, Kaduna State, Nigeria against Shia Muslims or Shiites, mostly members of the IMN.
Hundreds of civilians were reportedly killed, with 347 bodies secretly buried by the army in a mass grave.
The Army claimed that it had responded to an attempt to assassinate then-Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, by the IMN. The organisation denied the claim.
In July, Zeenah El-Zakzaky, the wife of Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the IMN lamented the pains and difficulties she had been going through as a result of the bullets lodged in her stomach.
She was shot alongside her husband, El-Zakzaky in Zaria, Kaduna State on December 14, 2015, two days after the Nigerian Army killed hundreds of Shia Muslims.
Meanwhile, Zeenah said she had been having terrible cramps in her belly which has made life more difficult for her.
She disclosed this during the International Qudus Conference and Exhibition in Abuja.
Zeenah, who spoke in an emotion-laden voice while addressing members of the movement, said she could not sleep or stand owing to frequent sharp pains.
According to her, she was still alive by the grace of Allah.
“I know we are living because Allah wants us to live. You know I have bullets in my stomach and they are giving me terrible cramps. When I say terrible cramps, in fact, I always think I am going to die beautiful.
“I cannot sit down, I cannot walk. Whatever I do, the cramp continues. As you can see now, I am using a wheelchair; even in the room or from my bed to the toilet.
“I can’t stand on my legs because all of the cartilage is gone. For Sheik, his own condition is even worse because he has more than 42 bullet fragments in his body, according to the doctors. He has in the skull and eyes.”
Zeenah accused the Nigerian government of deliberately making life more miserable and difficult for them by refusing to return their passports and other travelling documents.