Three weeks after the army arrested and detained leader of Zaria-based Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiite sect, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, members of the sect have raised alarm over their precarious condition and whereabouts.
In a statement signed by Spokesman of Shiite sect, Ibraheem Musa, which was made available to our Correspondent Monday evening , the members said even when it is on record that the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai had said on 18 December, 2015 that Sheikh El-Zakzaky had been transferred from the army to appropriate authorities for prosecution, there is no information about where he is being detained or hospital he was taken to for treatment.
Musa said they had thought they were transferred to the police custody, but to the surprise of the sect members, when a committee of National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs NSCIA met the Inspector General of Police, Solomon Arase, and demanded to see the Sheikh, he flatly refused.
“Not long ago, the Force Public Relations officer Olabisi Kolawole, had said that Sheikh Zakzaky was being prosecuted. Kolawole had said ‘the Shi’ite leader has been arraigned in court where he was charged with criminal conspiracy, inciting public disturbances among others; he has been remanded in prison custody and the case adjourned,’” Musa stated.
According to him, “she told The Punch about the arraignment of Zakzaky but surprisingly, while the Nigerian authorities had announced that he was detained and arraigned in Kaduna prisons, the Controller of Kaduna Prisons, Abubakar Argungu, denied he was in their custody. So whom should we believe? This smacks of deceit, conspiracy and outright manipulation of the public’s view of the army’s massacre in Zaria.”
While saying that the Islamic Movement as well as the general public are now seriously anxious, he queried, “Where is Sheikh Zakzaky and why has he been denied his constitutional rights to an attorney, bail and visitation?”
He also argued that if the government is truly interested in finding a peaceful way out of this crisis the army initiated and executed, as the government wants the public to believe, it should by now have allowed unimpeded access to Sheikh Zakzaky.
“First and foremost, his first family members and leading brothers of the Islamic Movement should have met him in the company of his doctor by now, since he was shot by the soldiers when they attacked his residence. We are highly agitated by this seeming needless incommunicado the Sheikh has been placed in,” he insisted.
Musa also said the federal government should tell the public where Sheikh Zakzaky is, because rumors of various degrees are flying about his health.
He maintained that until El-Zakzaky and wife’s health condition is made public by the relevant authorities that the tension brewing among the populace would persist.