The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN, has described as baseless a recent statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Department of State Services, DSS, Peter Afunanya, that the illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Omoyele Sowore was based on their choices.
“The attention of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria has been drawn to a recent statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the Department of State Services, DSS, Peter Afunanya recently, misdirecting the Nigerian public into believing that the illegal detention of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, Col. Sambo Dasuki (rtd) and Omoyele Sowore was based on their choices,” Ibrahim Musa, President media forum of IMN said in a statement.
The statement described the recent statement from the DSS as an act of mischief and deliberate blackmail.
IMN noted that following the attack on the Islamic Movement by the Muhammadu Buhari regime in December 2015 in Zaria, Kaduna state, where over 1000 unarmed men, women and children members of the movement by what it said its members were extra judicially killed by the Nigerian Army, seeking for redress in the most civil manner, the Islamic Movement sued for the enforcement of the rights of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky (H) who was shot severally, abducted and detained by the DSS.
IMN explained, “The case was heard by Justice Gabriel Kolawale and lasted a year, while the DSS made efforts to justify the illegal detention but all to no avail.
“On the 16th of December 2016, the Federal High Court in Abuja issued a judgement enforcing the fundamental rights of the revered leader of the Islamic Movement Sheikh Zakzaky (H) in which the DSS, also a respondent in the case, was instructed by the court to unconditionally release the revered Sheikh to which it acted in total contempt of court and blatantly disregarded the court’s judgement.
“He was continuously held in illegal detention by the DSS, disallowed access to medical treatment and fed poison. This gave birth to a regime of peaceful protests within and outside Nigeria calling on Nigerian government to respect the court and release the revered leader. Several peaceful protesters were killed in their hundreds by police, army and DSS on different occasions on the streets of Nigeria.
“This act of disregard to law and order grossly affected the image of the Buhari regime which is tagged as tyrannical and undemocratic by a lot of concerned individuals, groups and governments.”
IMN observed that in trying to justify the continued illegal detention of the Sheikh, the government concocted cropped up charges and instituted a new case against Sheikh Zakzaky (H) in a Kaduna High court.
“The charges were the same made against Islamic movement members out of which almost about a hundred were earlier discharged and acquitted by the Kaduna High Court,” the statement explained.
“Here too, the government set up vendetta and scuttled the medical trip insisting that he must allow himself to be treated in India by doctors he had never seen or known and had no confidence in. It was only logical that he refused to be treated by doctors provided by those plotting to kill him back home in Nigeria lest they kill him in India and frame a fake story as they have always done. It is better to return to Nigeria and die in their detention for the world to know exactly who killed him,” it observed.
IMN said it wishes to reiterate that the actions of the DSS are contrary to the laws establishing them because they have turned themselves into machinery used in implementing the whims and caprices of suppressive leaders instead of the interest of the country whose tax payers pay their bills.
It added that the time tested axiom of Sheikh Usman Fodio that “conscience is an open wound and only the truth can heal it,” does not fit the statement issued by the DSS, for indeed falsehood can never heal the wound of conscience.
“We challenge the DSS to allow the Sheikh to speak to the public on whether he chose to stay with them or not. It is pure deceit for them to speak on his behalf!
“At this juncture, we also challenge the DSS to prove us wrong by simply respecting and obeying court orders and judgment and not the whims of those in authority by simply releasing those the courts have ordered to be released.
“The level of disregard to law and order the DSS is seen to have attained is totally alien to their rules of engagement and to the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. It is therefore pertinent that fairness and justice be allowed to reign and this can only be attained through obedience to law and order,” the statement revealed.