By KATO P. LADAN, Kaduna
The Islamic Movement has been peaceful since its inception in Nigeria in the late 1970s, and will continue to be peaceful.
A statement signed by the Vice President Media Forum of the Islamic Movement, Abdullahi Usman said that they will not be intimidated to engage in any form of lawlessness and shall continue to seek redress through peaceful and legal means.
“It is as a result of this acknowledged principle that the Movement secured favourable judgements in all the cases concerning it brought before various Courts of law across the country.
“So far, hundreds of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have been discharged and acquitted for alleged crimes including that of culpable homicide, unlawful assembly among others after prolonged trials in court.
“Since the persecution of the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky commenced, the High Courts in Kaduna and Sokoto, as well as the Court of Appeal have discharged and acquitted 309 members of the Islamic Movement and dismissed the frivolous charges concocted by this administration,” it said.
The statement in full reads as follows:
This is making public a review of cases won by the Islamic Movement in before various courts across the country on concocted charges mischievously labelled against its members by the authorities. Find below some of the court judgments won by members of the movement:
The Abuja Division of the Federal High Court on Friday 2 December 2016 ordered the release of our leader Ibraheem Zakzaky.
Delivering the judgement, Justice Gabriel Kolawole, rejected the submission of the counsel to the State Security Service, Tijjani Gazali, that Mr. Zakzaky was kept in protective custody of the SSS.
Sheikh Zakzaky was arrested by the military on December 14, 2015, after the Nigerian Army killed more than a thousand of the unarmed movement followers in Zaria.
The revered Sheikh Zakzaky approached the court to demand his release, months after he was arrested without being charged to Court.
Justice Kolawole said the government should within 45 days release the applicant and his family to the police, who shall within 24 hours take them, guarded by escort, to a safe place.
He added that the SSS will pay a fine of N25 million each to Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, making N50 million.
As at now the Federal Government and the SSS are yet to comply with the Court order.
Kaduna state High Court discharged and acquitted nearly 200 members of the Islamic Movement who have been arraigned before two different courts on trumped- up charges of possession of weapons, causing public disorder and culpable homicide. The accused members of the Movement were released in separate judgments delivered in 2019 and 2020 respectively.
They were arraigned on Wednesday 10, February 2016. The court hearing was held inside the then Central Prison in Kaduna now Correctional Centre.
On December 12, Nigerian troops attacked members of the Movement attending a ceremony at a religious center in Zaria, accusing them of blocking the convoy of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff Lieutenant General Tukur Yusuf Buratai. Our Leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife who were shot severally are still being held by the Nigerian government, in violation of Federal High Court order, thereby acting in total contempt of court.
The Federal High Court, Abuja, on Monday 27 June, 2020 awarded the sum of N15 million against the Nigerian police over the killing of three members of the Movement in Abuja.
Justice Taiwo Taiwo, in his judgment, ordered the National Hospital, Abuja, to immediately release the three corpses in its morgue.
Justice Taiwo while granting Reliefs A and C of the applicants, said each of the applicants must be paid a sum of N5 million as compensation for the killings.
The Inspector General of Police is the 1st respondent while the Medical Directors of the National Hospital, Abuja, and Asokoro District Hospital are both 2nd respondent in the four separate charges.
Suleiman Shehu, Mahdi Musa, Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska and Askari Hassan were killed by agents of the first respondent on July 22, 2019 while on a peaceful protest to demand for the freedom of our Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife, at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.
The Kaduna State High Court freed nine members of the Movement arrested following the proscription order by the Kaduna State Government in 2016.
The nine of them, including two women, were arrested while on their way to attend the Islamic religious rite of Ashura mourning in Kaduna and have been in detention since 2016.
Justice Shiri Nyom discharged and acquitted them of all the charges levelled against them. Justice Nyoms, said the prosecution didn’t prove any charges against any of those standing trial.
On Friday, 24th July, 2020 the Kaduna State High Court presided over by Hon. Justice M.L. Mohammed again delivered a favourable judgement in the “no case submission” filed by the defense lawyers on the case brought against 12 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
They were alleged to have committed offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and being members of unlawful society. They were arrested and subsequently charged to court following the October 2016 declaration by the Kaduna State, governor, Nasiru El-Rufai that the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is proscribed and is an unlawful society.
“No-Case-Submission made on behalf of the defendants is hereby upheld and the defendants are hereby discharged and acquitted accordingly.”
This judgement has not only vindicated the members of the Islamic movement in Nigeria, but it is certainly a victory for perseverance in the face of mischief and extreme persecution. It is a victory for truth and justice against tyranny and impunity.
As a peaceful Movement, we have kept to our clean tradition of seeking redress through peaceful means without any resort to violence despite deliberate and persistent provocations by the government. So far in Kaduna state alone, members of the Movement have won all court cases against the Governor EL-Rufai led State.
We wish to use this opportunity to also say a big thank you to all people of conscience, human rights activists and organizations, journalists and all those that joined in our dogged campaign for justice and fairness.