PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: Fears grow over plans to prosecute IMN leader

Reports say that the federal government has authorised his transfer to the Kaduna state government in order to be prosecuted

Fears are mounting for the fate of the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, following reports that the federal government has authorised his transfer to the Kaduna state government in order to be prosecuted.

Reliable sources have informed IHRC that the Attorney General of Nigeria, Malami Abubakar, has signed off the Sheikh's transfer to Kaduna state for prosecution on charges stretching back three decades.

The move is clearly another attempt by the Nigerian authorities to frustrate a court order on 2 December 2016 which demanded the sheikh and his imprisoned wife be released within 40 days and compensated for their illegal detention.

Yet despite the High Court order the pair continue to be detained.

IHRC believes that the attempt to transfer Sheikh Zakzaky is a cynical attempt by Nigerian authorities to circumvent the order and manufacture a legal fig leaf for his continued detention.

The Zakzaky's have been held without charge and mainly incommunicado following their arrest during a savage military assault against the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) last December. Both were shot during the attack in Zaria in which at least 1000 IMN supporters, including three sons of the couple, were killed and many properties and religious spaces belonging to the IMN and its followers destroyed.

Sheikh Zakzaky has also already lost the use of an arm and one of his eyes and his aides fear could lose his sight completely if he doesn't receive the urgent medical treatment he requires and which the government has so far denied him.

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