Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Monday took their protest to the National Human Rights Commission to call on the Federal Government to release the passports of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and his wife, Zeenat.
During the protest, the IMN members accused the government of gross violation of the fundamental human rights of the couple.
The organisation also said that nine months after the order of a Kaduna State High Court, which discharged and acquitted them of terrorism charges, the government refused to release their travel documents to enable them to access urgent medical attention overseas.
The leader of the academic forum of IMN, Mukhtar Auwal, also vowed to hold those in positions of power responsible; anything should happen to them.
He said, “It is well-known that the Sheikh and his wife Malama Zeenat are suffering from numerous health challenges that cannot be treated in Nigeria. The authorities have refused to release or issue new international passports to the couple.
“The public is fully aware of the Zaria massacre executed from 12th to 14th December 2015. It was an “all-out-war” to eliminate the Sheikh and dislodge the Islamic movement under his distinguished tutelage, ‘once and for all’.
“Against all odds, the prime target, his wife and several other family members survived the arson and all that attack. Yet, no sooner had four soldiers “discovered” the whereabouts of the survivors in a laundry room then they started to rain bullets on them, instantly killing three of his sons, leaving the Sheikh and his wife ‘waiting to die’ from the lethal gunshot wounds. But the duo is still alive with multiple health complications, very much needing urgent medical attention.
“Ever since the massacre, the Sheikh and his wife have been battling life-threatening health complications.
“While in detention awaiting trial, there was also the issue of urgent medical treatment abroad. After incessant calls, protests and counsel arguments, the authorities reluctantly consented to the medical trip to India for the prosecution to continue after the couple’s return to Nigeria.
“Unfortunately, the Nigerian authorities hijacked the whole process by trying to use doctors in India. Realising that their sinister plan was botched, the regime quickly boarded the couple back and put the oppressed patients behind bars immediately afterwards.
“Justice was delayed and prolonged for more than five years, but the court finally discharged and acquitted the Sheikh and his wife in July 2021. Following the court triumph, their immediate preoccupation has been to cater for their medical needs abroad. Still, their international passports have been denied for almost nine months now.
“Once more, they have to resort to the court, but still, the authorities continue to trample on the court procedures, causing unnecessary delay. It is pertinent for the public to note that the freedom of Sheikh El-Zakzaky and his wife is still being denied.
“After patiently waiting for nine months, we have no option but to return to the streets of Abuja to protest this unholy conspiracy. Given the previous, we demand the unconditional release of the couple’s international passports. “(PUNCH)