Shittes: “Release Our Leaders Unconditionally”

PRESS CONFERENCE

Ladies and Gentlemen of the Press,

On the 2nd day of December 2016, the Hon. Justice Gabriel Kolawole of
the Federal High Court Abuja gave judgment in two consolidated suits
filed by our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama
Zeenatu Ibraheem and ordered their unconditional release within 45
days of the judgment. In the judgment, the Court found, declared and
ordered as follows:

1. That the detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama
Zeenatu Ibraheem since the 14th day of December 2015 is illegal and
unconstitutional and violates their fundamental right to personal
liberty, dignity of persons and fair hearing.

2. That the detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama
Zeenatu Ibraheem at Abuja since the 14th day of December 2015 is
illegal and unconstitutional as it violates their fundamental rights
to health and association.

3. That the detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama
Zeenatu Ibraheem without access to family and friends since the 14th
day of December 2015 is illegal and unconstitutional and violates
their fundamental right to freedom of association.

4. That the detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama
Zeenatu Ibraheem since the 14th day of December 2015 without access to
family members and friends is  illegal and unconstitutional and
violates their fundamental right to freedom of movement.

5. That the Department of State Services actively working in
conjunction with the Attorney General of the Federation, in its
capacity as the Legal Representative of the Federal Government of
Nigeria and being the “Chief Law Officer” of the Federation “shall
within 45 days of that judgment, make proper and decent arrangement of
a residential abode for the Sheikh and his family in Kaduna State or
anywhere of their choice within the Northern Region, where the Sheikh
and his wife with their children can relocate when released upon the
expiration of 45 days.

6. That “the failure (whether by deliberate action or inadvertence) of
the 1st and 3rd Respondents to effect the release of the Applicant
herein and his wife from the 1st Respondents custody or any illegal
custody whatsoever, upon the expiration of the 45th day from today,
such failure shall not only constitute a deliberate act of
disobedience of these orders, but will crystallize into fresh cause of
action of infraction of the Applicants rights and of his wife to
personal liberty guaranteed by CFRN, 1999(as amended)”.

7. That an award of Twenty Five Million Naira(N25,000,000.00) for our
leader and another Twenty Five Million Naira (N25,000,000.00) for
Malama Zeenatu Ibraheem should be adequate to assuage the deprivation
which the Sheikh and his wife have been put to on account of the acts
of the Department of State Services and the Government.

8. That the Department of State Services and the Attorney General of
the Federation shall in execution of the judgment of court release our
leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama Zeenatu Ibraheem
to the Inspector General of Police or any of his subordinate officers
not below the rank of Assistant Inspector General(AIG) when he
“receives the applicant and his wife as ordered herein, shall take
immediate steps within 24 hours of receiving the Applicant and his
wife from the 1st and 3rd Respondents, convey the Applicant and his
wife under necessary security escort to their place of abode as would
have been provided by the 1st respondent working in conjunction with
the 3rd respondent.”

• These orders made by the Court are clear, unequivocal and accords
with common sense, our sense of justice and the tenets of democracy
the country follows, founded on the rule of law and respect for the
fundamental rights of its citizens.

• One thing is clear and that is the fact that it is the Federal
Government that is holding our leader. Prior to the judgment of the
Court, the Federal Government gave the Nigerian people the impression
that it was the Kaduna State Government that was holding our leader.
While the Kaduna State Governor is complicit in the travails of our
leader, he has his inspiration and muscle from the Federal Government.

• We find it difficult to understand why the Government has decided
against all international human rights norms and tenets of decency to
hold our leader without trial. A few people that do not wish our
Movement well claimed that we do not recognize the sovereignty of
Nigeria and its institutions, yet we took our grievances to a properly
constituted court of law. The government claimed that members of our
Movement do not obey the rule of law and due process but it is our
leader who has been held in solitary confinement for one year and one
month without any charges being filed against him and without the
authorities alleging any offence against him. The Houses of our leader
have been destroyed arbitrary. His children have been brutally killed.
His wife is in custody and carrying bullet wounds. Our leader has lost
one eye and is in the process of losing the remaining one. The Kaduna
State Government has also obliterated anything associated with the
Islamic Movement in Nigeria despite the fact that all properties of
our leader and properties of our Movement have valid and subsisting
Certificates of Occupancy. In the light of all these the Islamic
Movement in Nigeria demands as follows:

OUR DEMANDS

1. We demand and insist that the Federal Government and its agencies
must release our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Malama
Zeenatu Ibraheem unconditionally and in accordance with the procedures
laid down in the judgment of the Federal High Court delivered on the
2nd day of December 2016.

2. The Federal Government and its agencies must obey the orders of the
Federal High Court Abuja, as they have a responsibility to show good
example to the people of Nigeria as a regime that believes in the rule
of law and due process. Serial disobedience to court orders and
contempt for the fundamental rights of citizens to freedom of religion
does not portray our country as one that is ready to manage its
religious diversity in a way that strengthens the federation.

3. The Kaduna State must discontinue its unjustified persecution of
over 350 of its members that are facing charges of culpable homicide
in the Kaduna High Court on the wobbly ground that all 350 of them
killed one soldier, whereas the Kaduna State Government participated
in the illegal and unconstitutional burial of over 1000 of our members
and has refused to prosecute those that carried out the heinous
murder.

4. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria demands that the Government desists
from trying to infiltrate the Movement using fifth columnists and
agent provocateurs. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria does not believe
in violence or the use of violence to achieve its objectives. The
Federal Government and the Kaduna State Government have been and
continue to engage in provocative acts aimed at inciting the Movement
to take to the path of violence in vain. The Islamic Movement in
Nigeria assures the Nigerian public that any act of violence
attributed to it can only emanate from agent provocateurs being
injected into the Movement by State Agents.

5. The Islamic Movement in Nigeria thanks the human rights community
and professional groups and organisations for their support in this
matter thus far, and urges them to persuade the government to release
our leader and his wife and withdraw all trumped up charges against
members of our Movement.

6. We urge the international community to persuade the government to
obey the orders of court, and to release our leader unconditionally.
We also appeal to the international community to commit Nigeria to
upholding religious rights and freedoms, failing which the Nigerian
government and its agents be isolated and sanctioned.

7. We appeal to all Nigerians to prevail on the government to release
our leader to seek medical attention to the challenges of his sight.
The Nigerian Army destroyed his left eye and he can hardly see with
the right one. Unless our leader is released to seek medical help, he
will completely go blind in the custody of the Department of State
Services.

The Islamic Movement will continue to use all constitutional and
legitimate means and avenues to drive home its points. These include
the right of its members to organize and practice their faith in
accordance with constitutional injunctions.

Sheikh Abdulhameed Bello

Shuhadah (Martyrs) Foundation

Islamic Movement in Nigeria

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