Shiites condemns government’s reasons for leader’s continued detention
The Islamic group, in a statement, said Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, was reported to have told newsmen in New York that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration was still detaining El-Zakzaky based on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Kaduna State government.
The statement signed by the spokesman of the group, Malam Ibramim Musa, said, among others: “IMN believes the statement credited to the minister is ridiculous to say the least. It seems he actually had nothing to say on the crucial reasons why the Nigerian government is still holding the Sheikh hostage.
“It is a well-known fact that the revered leader of the IMN was abducted and illegally detained without charges for over nine months now in contravention to the Nigerian constitution and violation of the Sheikh’s fundamental human rights.
“We believe his illegal detention has nothing to do with the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI). He is not being detained by the JCI and neither is he being detained on its recommendation. In fact, the JCI has to extend its period of sitting to seek ways for the El-Zakzaky’s legal team to meet with him in detention.
“More so, the issue of his detention was not discussed by the JCI during its sessions nor did it bother to make any issue of it. Sheikh El-Zakzaky is being detained by the Presidency under the Department of State Service (DSS) and not by the JCI.
“Even the way the minister answered the question was apologetic and defensive trying to show a good image of the government, which has already been condemned by highly reputable international human rights organisations in the world.
“Considering the fact that Sheikh El-Zakzaky sustained life-threatening gunshots and in dire need of urgent medical attention, how can the Kaduna JCI recommendations make the government to delay justice? If Sheikh El-Zakzaky is released now, will that tamper with their study of JCI report?“We believe it will not. It will only show the world their intent in doing justice in the case of the Zaria massacre.
“We, therefore, wish to reiterate our demand for the unconditional release of Sheikh El-Zakzaky, his wife, Malama Zeenah Ibrahim, the 200 IMN members detained in Kaduna prison and the hundreds missing, who we believe are being detained by military authorities secretly since the Zaria massacre.”