The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, has again urged the Federal Government to release its leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who has remained in the custody of the Department of State Service, DSS, since December 2015, adding that he could go blind if proper medical attention was not given to him urgently.
President of the media forum of IMN, Ibrahim Musa, made this known in a statement issued on Monday, urging Nigerians and the international community to pressurize the government to release Zakzaky to enable him attend to his health.
Musa stated that “the Doctor assigned to attend to our illegally detained leader Sheikh Zakzaky has clearly told the authorities detaining him that he could go blind if not given the proper medical attention he deserves without further delay.”
He added that “the way and manner in which the federal government has been handling the health of the fatally injured Sheikh Zakzaky for the past 13 months leaves much to be desired.”
The Shiite Muslim group alleges that since the Islamic Cleric was arrested and detained in 2015, he “has been denied access to his own doctors and the federal government has not allowed independent specialists to have a second opinion on his state of health.”
“The continued detention, illegally, in what it termed ‘protective custody,’ against court orders and despite the doctor’s red alert is objectionable and condemnable.
“It is a moral obligation upon all people of conscience to show support and empathy to the plight of the oppressed Sheikh. Some urgent measures must be in place to save the deteriorating eye of Sheikh Zakzaky.
“We therefore call on the Acting President, Prof. Osinbajo to obey Court order and free Sheikh Zakzaky from this wicked 13 months detention to seek proper medical attention,” Musa stated.
“Nigerians and the international community should hold president Buhari and those known to have played prominent roles in the Zaria massacre responsible for anything that happens to Sheikh Zakzaky,” the IMN spokesman, Musa stated.
The Abuja federal high court had in December 2016, ordered the immediate release of the detained Muslim cleric and his wife, ruling that his continued detention was illegal.
Justice Gabriel Kolawole also ordered the federal government to provide Zakzaky with accommodation in Kaduna or any area of his choice in Northern Nigeria within 45 days.
He also awarded a total of N50 million in damages against the federal government for violating Zakzaky’z fundamental human rights.
The 45-day ultimatum elapsed in January this year but FG is yet to obey the court ruling. Rather it said that it will appeal the ruling on a number of grounds, including the fact that Justice Kolawole lacked jurisdiction to entertain the matter.
The government said that the events that led to the arrest of Zakzaky occurred in Zaria in Kaduna State and as such, the Abuja federal high court cannot give a ruling on an event that took place outside the court’s jurisdiction.