The Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has called on the Nigerian Government to release Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, its leader from detention.
The group said El-Zakzaky’s health was fast deteriorating and he could die if urgent steps aren’t taken.
El-Zakzaky has been in custody for years despite court orders for his release.
He was arrested in December 2015 after the Shi’ites and the Nigerian army clashed in Zaria, Kaduna State.
In a statement on Sunday, Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, spokesperson for the AFIM, accused President Muhammadu Buhari of toying with the health of El-Zakzaky by denying him urgent medical attention.
Musa said, “Inalienable as fundamental rights are, Buhari has practically violated all against Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenah. From the right to personal liberty, to dignity, to whatnot; even the inviolable right to life is threatened, day after day. The sanctity of their lives is under serious threats and danger as the poisoned bullet shrapnel which give rise to highly concentrated lead pellets continue to wreak some havoc after the other.
“Irresponsible government leadership has no more than impunity to usher in the territory under its control. By doing so, encroachment and infringement of the rights of citizenry become the order of the day. This writs large with the health condition of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife in the unhealthy, overcrowded Kaduna prison. The couple are seriously sick, and gradually dying in Buhari's goal. As their health continues to deteriorate without any sign or an iota of getting better, it is apposite to firmly state that Buhari is responsible for its getting worse. For, no human right as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) upon which Buhari has not trampled against the duo.
“The Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the massacre chaired by Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, discovered that “the oral order for the cordon and search operation issued by GOC 1 Div which led to the deployment of officers and men of the Nigerian Army for operational use, was in contravention of the provisions of Section 8 of the Armed Forces Act No. 24 of 1994. The JCI recommends the prosecution of the perpetrators. Four years after the report, not one single individual has been prosecuted by the Buhari regime.
“The public is not unaware that after the 2015 massacre, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, through their chief counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), approached the Federal High Court, Abuja, for the enforcement of their fundamental rights. On December 2, 2016, the court delivered a historic judgement, ordering Buhari to release the couple, unconditionally. The regime ignored the order and spent the next year to come up with a way to provide legal cover for their continued detention. With the full support of Kaduna State governor, Nasiru el-Rufa'i, they brought forth concocted charges.
“The cooked-up charges at Kaduna High court centre on aiding and abetting his followers for culpable homicide, and the same state judiciary had discharged and acquitted those accused of committing the homicide. Therefore, the arraignment and continuous detention of the two is a manifestation of the Buhari regime’s commitment to rule with impunity, to disregard the rule of law, to impose the whim of Buhari and his inner circle and to protect their personal interests at all costs and to quash all opposition by any means necessary.
“Obviously, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife are in serious need of proper medical attention, their health condition is deteriorating, yet Buhari denies them the inalienable rights to it. In consequwnce, whatever happens to either of the couple, he will be held responsible. Finally, we demand unconditional release of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife.”