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Release El-Zakzaky, don’t show him to public, Shiites tell government

Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Shiites, have rejected the Federal Government’s decision to show the detained Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky to the public, without releasing him. 

According to the group, the action of government contravenes the order by the Federal High Court, Abuja directing immediate release of El-Zakzaky.A statement yesterday by the IMN spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, said: “This limited and edited view of the voice of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky speaking live in the short video clip in the over two years of his illegal detention may seem very pleasant but falls very short of expectations of his total and unconditional freedom as ordered by the Federal High Court, Abuja.

“We are not unmindful of the fact that Sheikh Zakzaky has not committed any crime, and his detention under whatever guise and pretence has been declared by a competent court in our land as unconstitutional and a breach of his fundamental rights.”

Musa said El-Zakzaky was allowed to speak to a selected section of the press on Saturday, January 13, 2018 for the first time since his detention.
‘This happened after recent wave of incessant but peaceful street actions calling for his immediate and unconditional release all over the country as well as globally, following reports of his deteriorating health condition in detention.”

The IMN spokesman said there was no justification whatsoever to be satisfied by a few seconds of video clip of the incarcerated Sheikh. “It is absolutely a matter of complete freedom that he deserves or nothing at all. Only a truly free Zakzaky will suffice as ordered by the Federal High Court. It is only a free Zakzaky that can determine, without waiting for permission from anyone or security agents, where and when to seek medical attention and from whom.

“A truly free Zakzaky will not have to be granted permission by anyone to give a press interview, let alone limit it to a selected section of the press,” Musa said.

According to him, “credible and dependable sources have it that the arranged interview by the security men was made to appear as impromptu, but our leader granted a much longer interview and addressed far more issues than was released.”

Musa queried: “What did he say about his detention? What did he say about his similarly incarcerated wife and her own ill health? What did he say about the legal tussle or even how the whole saga began in the first place? What did he say about the destruction of his properties, the desecration of his mother and children’s graves? What did he say about the killing of his elder sister, a nephew, three sons and over a thousand of his disciples? Why did he reject going to Kaduna State constituted judicial commission of inquiry but submitted a memo to Osinbajo panel of investigation, only to refuse giving testimony in secret? The questions are nearly endless. We challenge the security forces to either release El-Zakzaky to the public, the full unedited interview, or allow a live interview with no restrictions.”

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