Sunday, September 26, 2021
PRESS STATEMENT: 5 years of Zaria Massacre, Sheikh Zakzaky still awaits justice (II) PDF Print E-mail
Written by freezak   
Sunday, 13 December 2020 15:37

Worse still, Sheikh Zakzaky has been denied medical treatment, putting his life at risk as a result of grave injuries sustained from previous attacks, in which he also lost sight in one eye and the use of one arm. For nine days in April 2019, a team of doctors were allowed, for the first time, to visit and undertake independent medical examinations of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife. The medical examinations showed extreme health concerns that require immediate medical treatment, including treatment most likely not available in Nigeria. A series of tests were also undertaken that revealed the Sheikh’s health is deteriorating and he has dangerous levels of lead toxicity in his body.

As a result the Kaduna state high court found the medical conditions of both Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were severe and required immediate medical attention, and it ordered they should be flown to India for the recommended medical treatment. The court also granted Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife permit to travel to India to seek treatment from the doctors who had undertaken the medical examinations and produced the medical report. As part of the court conditions, Nigerian security was granted permission to supervise the trip.

However on arrival in India, terms of the court order were violated by Nigerian security services. Instead of observing, they began a regime of harassment and effective detention of the Sheikh and his wife in their hospital room, removing their legal documents from. It appeared this was with the help of their Indian counterparts. Most significantly, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife were denied consultation on the medical treatment they would receive, nor were they permitted to consult with their own doctors. As a result of this blatant mistreatment by the Indian authorities, Sheikh Zakzaky lost complete confidence in any treatment that was offered and became understandably suspicious that any such medical intervention that was subsequently offered would be intentionally detrimental to his health and endanger the life of himself and his wife. Given the level of harassment and ultimatums presented by both the Nigerian and Indian authorities, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife felt they had no option but to return to Nigeria.

The denial of access to essential medical treatment required by Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife by the governments of Nigeria and India, in defiance of the high court ruling, jeopardised their health, which continues to deteriorate. As such, this amounts to torture and inhumane and degrading treatment in violation of Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR).


It is shameful that after the commission of inquiry, set up by the Kaduna State government, indicted Major General Oyebade and other senior army officers for the attack on Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement, three years after, they are yet to be apprehended and tried in a competent court of law. The attacks were never condemned by the army hierarchy or the Muhammadu Buhari administration. After his initial silence, President Buhari later suggested during a televised interview on December 30 that the victims invited the wrath of the military upon themselves by “hitting the chest of generals”.

The panel said it established that the invasion of the Islamic Centre, Husainiyya Baqiyyatullah compound was carried out strictly on Mr. Oyebade’s order and without any rules of engagement, an action the commission said was at variance with the provisions of the Armed Forces Act, 1994, and the 1999 Constitution, both of which vested such authorities strictly in the president of the federal republic. “There was no evidence that there was the requisite delegation by the president to the officer who issued oral order for the deployment of the officers and men of the Nigerian Army for the cordon and search operation,” the report said.

“All the officers who testified were not forthcoming in providing full disclosure on the number of the dead, wounded and missing persons,” the report said. Similarly, the medical examiner in charge of the bodies kept at Nigerian Army medical facility in Kaduna also withheld support for the judicial panel. “It is unfortunate that the medical officer in charge of the Nigerian Army Depot Health Centre who took custody of some of the corpses was not forthcoming in giving evidence that would have enabled the commission to ascertain the actual number of people killed,” the report said. “The officer said he didn’t even ascertain the gender of both the adult and children corpses that were deposited in his medical centre.” The panel concluded that the burial of all corpses of male and female Muslims in one grave violated Islamic traditions and other relevant burial laws of Kaduna State and Rule 115 of the Geneva Convention.

From the foregoing it is crystal clear that the trial of Sheikh Zakzaky currently going on at a Kaduna state high court is shambolic to say the least, since the Army officers recommended by the Kaduna state commission of inquiry to be tried are not in the dock waiting for prosecution. The Elrufa’i government of Kaduna state, by so doing, has exposed itself to ridicule in the eyes of the world. It has demonstrated to the Nigerians and the international community that it is after selective justice and looking for a vendetta against Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement.


In the meantime, four years on, the government has never been able to prove any of their allegations against Sheikh Zakzaky or any of his supporters in any court of law. The Sheikh has remained unlawfully detained in spite of a judgement by an Abuja Federal High Court that his continued detention is a breach of the constitution and his fundamental rights, and indeed all known laws.

Since the persecution of the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) commenced, the High Courts in Kaduna and Sokoto, as well as the Court of Appeal have discharged and acquitted 309 members of the Islamic Movement and dismissed the frivolous charges brought against them. On 2nd July of 2015 the Sokoto Judicial Division - Court of Appeal - has discharged and acquitted 112 members of the Islamic Movement of any offense.

On Tuesday 30/07/2018 Justice David Shiri Wyom at the Kaduna State High Court cleared over 80 Shiite supporters of the Islamic Movement of criminal charges linked to a violent protest in 2015. He ruled in favour of the defence's no case submission, saying that the state did not present enough evidence to go ahead with proceedings.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has on Friday, 21/2/2020 again secured a favourable judgement in the case brought before the Kaduna State High Court against the last batch of its members detained since December 2015 following the heinous attacks by the Nigerian Army in Zaria. The court discharged and acquitted all the 100 remaining accused members and vindicated the Islamic Movement, thereby absolving both the leadership and membership of any blame in the events leading up to the Zaria massacre.

On Friday, 24th July, 2020 the Kaduna State High Court presided over by Hon. Justice M.L. Mohammed again delivered a favourable judgement in the “no case submission” filed by the defense lawyers on the case brought against 12 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.





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Last Updated on Sunday, 13 December 2020 15:45