El-Zakzaky group drags IGP, COAS to UN, EU, NHRC over alleged killings of 78 members in Abuja

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The Shite group,  Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has petitioned the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) over alleged killings of its 78 members who were on peaceful protest for the release of its leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, in Abuja.

Copies of the petitions dated May 28, 2021, was made available to newsmen by Abdullahi Muhammad Musa, Secretary, Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (AFIMN) on Friday in Abuja.

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The petitions, written against the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), were addressed to the UN Resident Coordinator, Head of EU Delegation in Nigeria and ECOWAS and the Executive Secretary of NHRC.

The petition reads in part: “We write to submit a petition against the Inspector General of Police [IGP] and the Chief of Army Staff [COAS] for the Abuja killing of 78 free-Zakzaky protesters.

“Attached with the petition is a comprehensive list of the protesters murdered from January, 2018 to May, 2021.

“Before anything else, it is pertinent to note that the major reasons for the commencement of the daily free-Zakzaky protest in Abuja are the unlawful arrest and the continued detention of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah, coupled with their deteriorating health condition while in incarceration.

“Notwithstanding police brutality, the protest was started on Monday, January 8, 2018. Ever since then, and in less than four years, the combination of the Army and the Police has with full intent murdered nearly four scores free-Zakzaky protesters, 78 to be more precise; 2 journalists, 2 police officers and many passers-by [Abuja residents].”

IMN, which enumerated the year and location where each of the killings took place, also listed the name, age, address/town, local government area, state and date of attack of each of the victims.

Some of the protesters allegedly killed by either the security agencies include Sheikh Qaseem Umar Sokoto, Aminu Ibraheem Gashua, Adamu Salis Dunari, Bilyaminu Mika’ilu, Ahmad Rufa’i, Ja’afar Mika’il Lafiya, Mahmud Umar, among others.

“Out of the 78 protesters viciously killed in Abuja by both the Police and the Army, in what we have termed ‘Abuja-Massacre’, we filed 8 suits at the Federal High Court, Abuja and secured 3 favourable judgements.

“In the 3 judgements, Hon. Justice Taiwo O. Taiwo declared the killing of Bilyaminu Abubakar Faska, Mahdi Musa and Suleiman Shehu by agents of the former Inspector General of Police during a free-Zakzaky protest at Federal Secretariat on Monday, 22nd July, 2019, as illegal, unlawful, null and void and amounting to gross violation of their fundamental right to life.

“We are submitting this petition demanding for necessary action against the perpetrators of such crime against humanity, action that will promote and protect the rights of all Nigerians.

“While we condemn these barbaric acts and crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nigeria Police Force and the Nigerian Army, we also wish to reiterate our commitment to continue protesting until our leader, His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenah Ibraheem, are immediately and unconditionally released from the unlawful detention,” the group said.

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