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Incarceration of Muslim Brothers in Sokoto: Fiver Years On-Families demand explanation

By Ibrahim UsmanFamilies, women and children of the incarcerated members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria by the Sokoto state government

 under Alu Magatakarda Wammako five years ago, had called for the immediate release of their husbands and fathers. In an event in Sokoto commemorating five years since the illegal incarceration, the families described the day as the Day of the Opressed women and children whose bread winners were illegally detained by the Alu Magatakarda administration for no just cause.

Chairman, committee for the welfare of familities of the detained, Malam Muhammad Alkalanci sympathized with the families. He implored them to be patient, as the case would soon come to an end in their favour. According to him, those who hatched the conspiracy that led to the incarceration have woefully failed. “Indeed, we can say without any fear of contradiction that their plan has failed. Here we are in Sokoto running our activities under the Islamic Moement as usual. If their intention was to suppress our Islamic activities, then they have failed”.

Briefing them on the current situation of the court case, Malam Muhammad Alkalanci said, after several attempts by the Sokoto state justice department to stop counsel to the detained from making further appeal and demand for bail, the appeal was however made in Kaduna Appeal Court before the court was finally relocated to Sokoto, which he said had heard the appeal case.

He disclosed that, the court presented obstacles delaying the case, and the lawyers were not also helping matters, which he observed has delayed the case for too long. “The court always find fault with our papers, and the lawyer will demand for two weeks to correct the said error that could be corrected in two days”, he pointed out. He also said, they used to pay the lawyer N60,000 whenever he was to appear before the court, this forced them to change to a lawyer that is resident in Sokoto. “The change did not help matters, as the lawyer demands for two weeks to re-submit the case before the court. Whenever we remind him that the delay and the continued incarceration our brothers, he tell us that ours is not the only case he is handling”.

He said, in view of this they decided to revert to the first lawyer, whom he commended for exonerating the Muslim brothers from murder charges. “Though the lawyer is not a Muslim, he sympathizes with our situation. He is currently handling the case in a speedy manner. The speed at which the case is going, I do not think we are going to meet here again to commemorate the sixth year. We hope by then, Malam Kasimu and the rest of the brothers will be released”.

At the end of the event, women carried placards with inscription, “Where Are Our Husbands?”, while children carried placards asking, “Where Are Our Fathers?”.