Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiites, have again, drawn the attention of the Federal Government to the deteriorating health of their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky .
In a statement issued and signed in Kaduna by the group’s spokesman, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, the Shiites said: “We demand that our leader and the wife must be released unconditionally without delay.
“It will be a tragedy of monumental proportions should our leader go blind in detention or suffer further physical disability due to his being denied access to adequate medical attention.”
El-Zakyzaky has been detained by the Federal Government following the clash between members of the sect and soldiers in Zaria in December 2015.
The statement continued: “We understand those detaining him want to humiliate him and make sure that he goes completely blind before he is released thereby rendering him powerless.
“The health of our leader and the wife continues to deteriorate and we urge the Nigerian people and the international community to intervene in this crude violation of the fundamental rights of our leader.
“We still insist that our leader should be taken to court if those holding him believe that he has committed any offence known to the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, otherwise he must be released forthwith.”
The statement further said since withdrawal of the sect’s legal team from further appearance before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the matters, the Department of State Services (DSS) has denied the team further access to El Zakyzaky despite several repeated requests both orally and in writing.
Instead, the DSS has allegedly been sponsoring two lawyers to write letters requesting for his release so that he can be taken abroad for treatment abroad by his family.
The IMN spokesman said: “In the said letter, the two solicitors claimed that the DSS saved the life of our revered leader by giving him what they called the best medical care. “They also claimed that our revered leader is appreciative of his treatment in detention and on the basis of that called on the DSS to allow the families take him out of the country for further medical care”.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria, therefore, makes it abundantly clear that Femi Falana (SAN) is the leader of the legal team and ably assisted by Festus Okoye Esq and Maxwell Kyon Esq.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria further affirms that anybody or any individual that deals with any other person other than the above mentioned solicitors does so at his or her own detriment.”