Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria have again staged a peaceful protest in Abuja demanding the release of their Leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife who are being detained by the government in spite of a Federal High Court judgement ordering his release.
The spokesperson of the group, Abdullahi Musa, who spoke to Channels Television on Wednesday during the protest, said the supporters are ready to lay their lives down to ensure the release of their leader.
He decried the continuous detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife since December 2015 over a clash with the convoy of a former Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai.
The group while renewing their confidence in the national human rights commission to address their petition vowed to continue its peaceful protest in the nation’s capital until their leader is released.
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCS) has debunked claims by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) that the wife of its embattled leader Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky has been infected by the deadly COVID-19 while in detention at its facility in Kaduna.
This was contained in a statement signed by the spokesman of the Nigerian Correctional Centre, Kaduna State Command, Daniel Wadai, who insisted that there is no report of any COVID-19 infection in any of their facilities as all inmates are safe and well-protected.
“The attention of the Kaduna State Command of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS) has been drawn to a news item being circulated by some mischief makers alleging that an inmate in one of the custodial centres in the state has contracted COVID-19,” the statement said.
It added that all custodial centres in the state had put a hold on new admission of inmates in March until adequate arrangements had been made to secure each facilities.
“Arrangements were immediately made to install gadgets to facilitate compliance with the virus protocols including construction of isolation centers in desinated areas for exceptional cases,” the statement said.
“Admission of new inmates was only lifted in June 2020 when all necessary measures to prevent the disease from entering Custodial Centers had been put in place. A visit to any of our facilities will confirm the strict compliance to the preventive measures.”
The statement further said that the Controller of Corrections in charge of the State Command appreciates members of the public for their understanding and support in ensuring that the virus does not spread to our facilities.
“He assures that the Command will continue to maintain absolute adherence to safety measures in order to safeguard the inmates and staff including visitors to our facilities,” the statement said.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) on Friday renewed the call for the immediate release of their embattled leader, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenah Ibrahim.
This comes after his wife reportedly contracted COVID-19 in detention at Kaduna Correctional center.
IMN spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa in a statement made available to Channels Television said six days after contracting COVID-19 while in detention, Zeenah Ibrahim has not been taken to any specialised hospital to receive proper medical care.
Musa notes that given her underlying medical conditions and age, her infection places her at heightened risk of severe illness or death, while on the other hand, Sheikh El-Zakzaky himself suffers from many underlying conditions that put him at high risk of developing life-threatening symptoms should he contract the virus.
“We all know that COVID-19 requires an immediate response of urgent adherence to medical advice, more so, Malama Zeenah Ibrahim has been denied treatment for acute medical conditions including severe arthritis of the knee for five years now. Yet she is still in Kaduna prison at the moment, yet to be hospitalised, and yet to receive proper health care.
“The couple are due to appear in court on Monday, January 25 to face the charges brought against them by the government.
“We believe Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife should not be in custody in the first place. A competent court in Abuja freed both of them on December 2, 2016, but the government refused to obey the judgement of the court.
“We call upon the well-meaning Nigerians and the international community to prevail over the Federal and Kaduna State Governments to ensure maximum health care for this patient that is in her 60s and still grieving the extra-judicial killing of her six children,” the IMN spokesperson said.
Musa maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration the Elrufa’i led Kaduna State government should be held responsible if anything bad happens to their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, and his wife.
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, a Shiite group, have renewed their demand for the release of their embattled leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, his wife, and other members of the group still in detention.
The Chairman Resource Forum of the IMN, Professor Abdullahi Danladi, said that four years after a federal high court freed El-Zakzaky and his wife, the federal government has refused to obey the court order.
Prof Danladi, who was addressing a news conference in Kaduna, noted that the government’s failure to obey court orders was totally unacceptable.
El-Zakzaky was arrested in 2015 and is being tried by the Kaduna state government over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, officially declared the IMN banned in July 2019.
Despite being proscribed by both the Kaduna State and Federal Government, members of the outlawed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) have staged a protest to demand the release of their embattled leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from detention.
Holding flag with different inscriptions on Wednesday, the IMN members marched along the popular Ahmadu Bello way down to Leventis roundabout, contrary to the ban on their activities by the Kaduna State Government.
The group is demanding the immediate release of El-Zakzaky, his wife, and other members of the IMN who are being detained in various parts of the country.
A Kaduna State High Court sitting in the state capital on Wednesday adjourned till tomorrow, the continued hearing of the trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement In Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zinat.
El- Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December 2015, following clashes between members of the IMN and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.
At the resumed hearing on the matter on Wednesday, two witnesses from the Nigerian Army were presented before the court by their counsel.
After making their submissions, they were cross-examined by the defence counsel, Femi Falana.
Fourteen more witnesses are expected to be presented before the court during the continuation of trial tomorrow, November 19.
However, speaking to reporters at the end of the court sitting, counsel to El-Zakzaky, Femi Falana, kicked against the consistent closure of roads against traffic in the Kaduna State capital whenever the trial of El-Zakzaky comes up.
Falana lamented that this situation puts the residents of Kaduna metropolis into unnecessary hardship.
“We will like to appeal to the authorities in Kaduna State, both the governor and the security forces that since our clients are not being brought to church on health grounds, they don’t really need to block all roads leading to the court, so that people can move and go about there normal business,” Falana said.
Security was beefed up in the Kaduna State capital on Wednesday while all roads leading to the state high court complex were barricaded against traffic by security operatives as
This is to forestall any break down of law and order during and after the trial of the IMN leader.
Security has been beefed around the Kaduna State High Court as the trial of the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, (IMN) Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and his wife Zinat resumes in Kaduna state capital.
El- Zakzaky and his wife have been in detention since December 2015, following clashes between members of the IMN and the Nigerian Army in Zaria Kaduna State.
They are being prosecuted by the Kaduna State government on an eight-count charge bordering on alleged culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, and disruption of the public peace among other charges.
On September 29, 2020, the IMN leader and his wife pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to them.
Police authorities on Saturday dispersed members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as they gathered in Kaduna to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the alleged killing of some of their members by the Nigerian Army on July 25, 2014.
IMN Spokesperson, Ibrahim Musa, told Channels Television that the commemoration was a peaceful annual event usually observed with members gathering to offer prayers for the repose of the souls of their departed members.
He explained that shortly after they commenced the programme at a cemetery in Zaria, Armed policemen stormed the venue and started shooting tear gas into their air.
Mr Musa asked the police to save their bullets for armed bandits and terrorists who are killing innocent and defenseless civilians.
In its response, the State Police Command said the group remains outlawed and security operatives reserve the right to disperse them.
The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, officially declared the IMN banned in July 2029.
The group was founded by Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who is being tried by the Kaduna state government over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of the public peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.
The Abuja Division of the Federal High court has slammed a fine of N15 million on the Nigeria Police Force for the killing of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
The IMN members were killed during the protests which turned violent in July 2019 in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, who awarded the cost against the police on Monday, also ordered the immediate release of the corpses of three members of the Shiite group deposited at the morgue of the National Hospital.
In his judgment, the judge held that the action of the police was both illegal and unlawful as it contravened the provisions of Section 31(1) of the Constitution which bordered on the fundamental rights of the victims.
Lawyers to the police were unavailable throughout the hearing of the suit to counter the submissions of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria with regards to the accounts of what transpired during the protest held on July 22, 2019.
On account of this, Justice Taiwo held that the submission in law that was not countered by another party would, therefore, be admitted as correct.
However, the police lawyer who showed up for the judgment, Simon Lough, claimed that the court had been misled.
On the other hand, the counsel to the applicants, Bala Dakum, commended the judgement, saying justice had been served.
In his ruling, Justice Kurada held that the defendants were not medically fit to stand trial hence their trial could not go on as planned.
He, therefore, ordered the management of the Nigerian Correctional Service to fully comply with an earlier directive on February 6, that the IMN leader and his wife should be properly attended to by their personal physicians under close supervision by the facility management.
El-Zakzaky and his wife are facing eight counts over allegations of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly, disruption of public peace, and criminal conspiracy among others.
The charges were filed against them by the Kaduna State government.
The defendants were brought to the court amid heavy security presence while security operatives cordoned off all major roads leading to the court complex and the court premises.
This comes about three weeks after the last hearing of the suit following the adjournment of the case for eight months.
On February 6, Justice Kurada had amended the charges against the defendants to enable the trial of the IMN leader and his wife commence without delay.
He also ordered that the defendants should be allowed to be seen by their private doctors at the Nigerian Correctional Service facility in the Kaduna State capital, with close supervision of the facility management.
The IMN leader and his wife have been in detention since their arrest in December 2015 following a bloody clash between the Shiites and soldiers in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The Kaduna State government says it will challenge the court judgement which discharged and acquitted 91 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN).
The Director of Public Prosecution in the State, Daris Bayero, disclosed this to Channels Television in reaction to the judgement of the Kaduna State High Court delivered on Friday.
He said, “Now we have read the ruling; My Lord has discharged them (the IMN members) after a no-case submission.
“She discharged them and acquitted them and said we did not present any legally admissible evidence before the court.”
“Now, we have looked at the judgment and listened to the judgment because I was in court when the judgment was delivered.
“The judgment is erroneous on point of law because 31 witnesses were called, including senior military officers that were at the scene of the incident when it happened and they came to testify and gave a vivid account of what happened to them on that day,” Bayero added.
Justice Hajaratu Gwada had acquitted the defendants, who were arrested during a clash with soldiers in Zaria in December 2015, of the charges filed against them by the state government.
They were arraigned on five counts of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, culpable homicide, disturbance of public peace, and causing grievous hurt.
During their trial, the defence counsel had filed a no-case submission before the court on the grounds that his clients were innocent, stressing that the government had failed to prove its allegations.
Justice Gwada, thereafter, struck out all the charges filed against the IMN members, saying the prosecutor could not prove the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
But Bayero alleged that the judge erred in her ruling, adding that the prosecution presented over 105 exhibits that were cleared and legally admitted by the court.
He insisted that the way forward was to test the ruling at the appellate court with the hope that justice would be served.
The government prosecutor decried that the trial of the defendants began in 2016 and senior military and police officers, as well as senior pathologists, gave their testimonies before the court.
He was unhappy that the court said they have not presented any legally admissible evidence to prove their allegations against the IMN members.
“Accordingly, I have been directed to file a notice and grounds of appeal as soon as we obtain the full reading of the court before the court of appeal. That is the position we are in now.
“We are not happy with the part where My Lord said that we have not presented any legally admissible evidence before the court. That is the part that hurts us the most,” the government official said.
He insisted, “We must test that! It is only the Court of Appeal that will say otherwise. We are trying to obtain the record and then we would appeal against the judgment definitely.”