By Abdulmumin Giwa
The best other ways to describe the response of the Nigerian Government as it flouts orders from a competent court of reputable jurisdiction in Nigeria would never be any better than cowardice and hypocrisy.
It is shocking to hear the Nigeria government responding on an issue of public interest using anonymity by hiding the identity of the person that spoke on its behalf. Definitely something is wrong somewhere.
How could a responsible government spend a year defending its wrong actions before a competent court and losing in the end and coming out with another excuse to justify its defiance of the court’s order?
It is baffling to hear the Nigerian government claiming that the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) cannot be released from detention because of public interest and security concerns adding that his wife is not in detention but merely keeping her husband’s company where he is being detained.
Definitely this position by the Nigerian government is a national embarrassment judging by the teaming onlookers, analysts and public commentators watching from within and outside Nigeria as well as human rights organizations that have performed in-depth and independent inquiry into the entire incident and issued public reports.
What are the public interests and what are the security concerns that constitutionally justify the violation of court orders by a democratically elected government?
Firstly, the IMN leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was un-provokingly attacked in a terrorist manner by the Nigerian Army during which he was shot severally, three of his biological sons killed at gunpoint, his elder sister and nephew along with other people in his house burned alive, his Hussainiyya Islamic Center bombarded, over 1000 of followers summarily killed and buried in mass graves and he and his wife abducted and detained illegally.
On resumption to a court case for the enforcement of the fundamental rights of the oppressed leader of the IMN, the same Nigerian government disgracefully claimed that Sheikh Zakzaky was being kept in protective custody with his own consent. This claim was dismissed by the court as lacking any morality or good reasoning. How could the Army attack him, kill his children, burn his residence, abduct him and his wife and hand them over to the Department of State Services (DSS) and come back to tell the court that they are protecting him with his own consent? This is very stupid and senseless.
To even prove how stupid the claim was the Judge of the High Court attempted wanting to bring the Sheikh before the court to tell the court that he was being kept with his own consent but the government silently and hypocritically waded away from the claim.
Definitely there is nothing like public interests in illegally detaining the IMN leader because he has no case with the public. He was not attacked by the public but by the government, his followers were not killed by the public but by the government, the public did not burn down his house but the wicked Buhari regime did, nobody has instituted any case against him in any court of law in Nigeria including the Nigerian government, then what is his crime? Of what public interests is he being kept in illegal detention? Who is the fool here?
If there is any public interests then it is the personal whims and caprices of the perpetrators of the of the Zaria pogrom that is the interests they are talking about. This is because they have failed in their mischievous plans of murdering the IMN leader using state apparatuses and do not have answers to give Nigerians when they release the revered leader of the IMN.
They are afraid of allowing Sheikh Zakzaky to be heard by the public because they fear unavoidable indictments that would arise as a result. These also include how they will face the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes against humanity which undoubtedly they are guilty of.
These public interests they are talking about are nothing short of the interests of the major actors and perpetrators of mass murder of innocent unarmed civilians in Zaria in December 2015 that include President Muhammadu Buhari, Army Chief Tukur Yusuf Burutai and Kaduna state Governor Nasir El-Rufai. They are the public interests for which the IMN leader is facing illegal detention.
No Nigerian needs to be told that there was nothing like a clash between the IMN members and the army but an attack on unarmed civilians by the heavily armed Nigerian Army. The Army went on a terrorist-like killing spree, and as discovered by reputable human rights organizations like Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) of London the army made efforts to hide their heinous crimes including through mass burials of corpses of victims. They went to the extent of burying people with severe bullet wounds alive.
Hence, if there is any security threat in the release of the leader of the IMN it is the perpetrators of the pogrom that are the security threat and the only way to disprove this is to simply obey court order and release the IMN leader.
It is rather very deceptive for the Nigerian government to claim that the wife of the IMN leader Malama Zeenatuddeen Ibrahim is not in detention but keeping her husband’s company. Nigerians laugh at this stupidity. She is a victim of the Army brutality that was shot in the womb severally with the intention of killing her and had the bullets in her forcefully removed without anesthesia. Imagine how wicked one would be to treat a human being in this manner, but the army did.
You cannot deceive Nigerians by concocting lies and feeding the public through anonymity. Simply free Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and swallow your pride, arrogance and egocentrism for you cannot rule with tyranny and oppression under a democratic dispensation and still claim to be morally upright.