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Press Conference on the demand for the unconditional release of Travel Documents of Sheikh Zakzaky.

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria demanded the removal of the travel ban placed on Sheik Ibraheem Ya’qoub Zakzaky, and his family, as well as the unconditional release of their travel documents. In a Press Conference, held on Saturday, Professor Shehu Ahmad Maigandi Addressed the Press as follows:


Islamic Movement in Nigeria, 3rd June 2023

Demand for the Release of our Detained Brothers and the Travel Documents of Our Revered Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky and his Wife

Good Morning/Afternoon members of the Press

This Press Conference is one of the series of Press Conferences by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria regarding the persecution, maltreatment and brutality of the Nigerian state against its leader, Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky, his family and followers across the country in the past ten years. It is meant to remind the general public and particularly the newly sworn-in government of Bola Ahmed Tinubu of the grave human rights violations against the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria, His Eminence, Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky (H), his family, and followers by the previous governments of Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and Muhammadu Buhari.

The public may recall that on March 16, 2013, during the Jonathan’s regime, the operatives of the Department of State Security (DSS) arrested our brother Malam Haruna Abbas at Aminu Kano International Airport upon his return from a foreign trip. Two other brothers: Ibrahim Hussaini; and Adamu Suleiman were also arrested at their respective residences fictitiously. Ten years on, the three brothers have been under detention unjustly and in violation of their fundamental human rights as citizens of Nigeria. In a similar fashion, on November 18, 2015, the Police arrested our brother Hassan Muhammad at his residence in Maigana Town, Kaduna state, and since then, Malam Hassan has been under illegal detention.

As a continuation of the state-targeted brutality by the Jonathan’s regime, the Nigerian Army on July 25, 2014, extra judicially killed 34 members of the Islamic movement while on peaceful procession in commemoration of the Annual International Quds Day in Zaria, as a show of solidarity to the oppressed Palestinian people. Those killed by the Army include three (3) biological sons of our leader: Ahmad Ibraheem Zakzaky; Mahmud Ibraheem Zakzaky; and Hamid Ibraheem Zakzaky. It is on record that in spite of the pleas, and formal complaints made, the perpetrators of this heinous crime are still not prosecuted.

The public may also well recall the military assault on Brothers and Sisters of the Islamic Movement in December, 2015 leading to the massacre of over One Thousand (1000) people, which include men, women, students and children. This uncivilized act of state brutality on its citizens was carried out under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari as Commander-in-Chief of the Nigerian Armed Forces. The onslaught was carried out nonstop for two consecutive days, from the 12th to 14th of December, 2015 across three locations of Hussainiyah Islamic Center, Darul Rahmah Cemetery and the residence of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky all in the ancient city of Zaria. The victims of the onslaught were also illegally buried in mass and shallow graves at Mando Village in Kaduna town, by the Buhari regime as confirmed by the Kaduna state government. This act of mass graves is reminiscent of a war crime, was in violation of the Geneva Convention and the relevant laws of Nigeria. In addition to these heinous crimes, many others were illegally arrested and detained in unknown locations. At present, there are numerous followers of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) in various detention facilities unknown to their families and loved ones.

It was in this illegal military operation that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife Zeenah, were arrested with multiple gunshot injuries after they were directly shot at, by the military. It was as a result of the continued illegal detention of the duo, amidst their deteriorating health condition and the demand for justice to the victims of the Zaria Massacre that instigated the Daily Free-Zakzaky Protests in Abuja. The protests were meant to remind the then government of Muhammadu Buhari of its obligation to obey the verdict of the Federal High Court of Abuja Division, presided over by Justice Gabriel Kolawale, which ordered their unconditional release from illegal detention and award of compensation to them on the 2nd December, 2016. In spite of Police brutality, the protests, which started on the 18th January 2018, continued until July 28, 2021. It is on record that from 2018 to 2021, Police and the Nigerian Army killed seventy-eight (78) Free Zakzaky protesters, 2 journalists, and numerous passersby (Abuja residents) in Abuja. Apart from those killed, there are 50 Free Zakzaky protesters under detention since July 2019, and their court cases have been unnecessarily delayed.

The public will also recall that the medical reports of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his wife Malama Zeenah Ibraheem submitted to the Kaduna State High Court in 2019 through their counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, led to the favourable court judgement on the couple’s medical leave to India. The court admits that the health situation of the couple requires not only qualified medical professionals but also a state-of-the-art medical facility with up-to-date equipment. During the medical trip to India, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Department of State Services (DSS) confiscated the couple’s travel documents. The seizure of the passports was done illegally because medical leave granted by the Kaduna State High Court did not require the security agents to confiscate their travel documents. It is obvious that the government is bending the laws to pursue an unjust cause.

After the judgement of the Kaduna State High Court that discharged and acquitted Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his wife from all the allegations levelled against them, the Buhari regime decided to frustrate the court judgement and hinder the retrieval of their travel documents by directing the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and Department of State Services (DSS) to continue to hold onto the couple’s travel documents. Similarly, the Buhari regime directed the Nigeria Immigration Service not to issue another international passport to the couple.

In view of the foregoing, we therefore demand as follows:

1) Unconditional release of the trio of Malam Haruna Abbas, Malam Ibrahim Hussaini, and Malam Adamu Suleiman, who have been in questionable detention since 2013;

2) Prosecution of perpetrators of the killing of three biological sons of Sheikh Zakzaky and thirty-one (31) others on July 25, 2014;

3) Unconditional release of Malam Hassan Muhammad and other brothers being detained in various detention facilities illegally without trial;

4) The investigation and prosecution of the mastermind and executors of the Zaria Massacre in accordance with the provisions of the Nigerian laws and relevant International conventions;

5) The unconditional release of Free Zakzaky protesters, Ibrahim Khalid and 49 others who have been detained since July 22, 2019; and

6) Removal of the travel ban on Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, as well as unconditional release of their travel documents.

Prof. S. A. Maigandi
For the Islamic movement under the leadership of his Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Ya’qoub El-Zakzaky (H)

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