In a statement sent to TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) wrote:
With increasing pressure on the Buhari regime from home and abroad occasioned by the decision of the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague to investigate the crimes against humanity committed by this regime during the Zaria Massacre of 2015, there have been increased efforts at belittling the matter and trivializing the issues. This reached a peak in the last hours when the Kaduna state governor, Nasiru El-Rufai was rattling half-truths and pathological lies, for which he has come to be known.
In this his warped position, he insinuated that so long as he remains Kaduna Governor, Sheikh Zakzaky would remain in detention. According to the governor, Sheikh Zakzaky is being tried for crimes he and his followers committed in the last 30 years in Zaria.
On the contrary, after the criminal invasion of the Sheikh’s residence in December of 2015 and the subsequent killing of hundreds of his supporters including his sons and relatives by Officers and men of the Nigerian Army, the Sheikh and his wife were shot at and arrested. The Sheikh and his supporters were the victims of state terror and crimes and not the perpetrators. The Department of State Security (DSS) illegally detained them without charges until May 2018, when the pressure on the government to release them became so intense and unbearable. It was at that point that the government thought of charging them of inciting his followers to commit alleged offences.
Prior to that, the government had struggled to give any sensible explanation for their continued detention. They had even clearly stated that the Sheikh was being kept in “protective custody” for his own safety and not because he had committed any crime. They also declared that the wife was not in detention but “merely keeping her husband company” and that she was free to walk out anytime she so wishes. So what crimes is Elrufai referring to?