Letter from IMN to NHRC: “You are mute and You keep blind eye, even to rights abuses within perimeter of the Commission”

Read the full content of the letter written to the National Human Right Commission, Abuja that they only reluctantly collected on the occasion of the second year of Zaria massacre and the continuing denials of our rights.


Date: 13th December, 2017
The Executive Secretary,
National Human Rights Commission,
No 19, Aguiyi Ironsi Street,
Maitama, Abuja.

Dear Sir,
Second anniversary of Zaria massacre and illegal detention of
Sheikh Zakzaky

Today 12th December 2017 marks the second anniversary of that horrendous Zaria massacre and illegal detention of our leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and hundreds of others in Nigeria. At the onset of the crisis in December 2015, it is on records that the Commission promptly set up a panel to look into the matter when a complaint was lodged with you by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) alleging that our members attempted to assassinate him. You recall that you did not at first deem it right to invite us to defend ourselves until days after the expiration of your acceptance of memoranda from the public, in what looked like an afterthought.

Nevertheless, our members, individually and collectively responded to your public call for memoranda as published in Nigerian dailies. You will also recall that we tried to cooperate as much as was feasible, including making appearances before the panel investigating the matter, until we were sufficiently convinced that the investigation panel was not structured to dispense justice as constituted.

Our letter of suspension of participation from that panel listed reasons for our action as follows:

a.) In the absence of the Board at the time, the laws establishing the
Commission did not empower the Executive Secretary to constitute such
a Panel.
b.) We were amazed at the haste with which actions to set up such a panel
was taken, when our much earlier complaint duly submitted before the
Commission since 2014 never received such swiftness of consideration.
c.) Above all, we particularly took exception at the modus operandi with
which the panel was conducting the investigation rather in camera, which
made it impossible for us or our legal counsels to cross examine the Chief
of Army staff and other military officers to determine the veracity of their claims. Nevertheless, we had continued to send our complaints to the Commission in various ways and manners. At some occasions, we came to exercise our rights to peacefully protest what clearly is the government official policy of persecuting members of the IMN. At some other occasions, we wrote letters of complaints at how our rights are being decimated by the government and its agencies with so much impunity. Two years on, a Human Rights Commission has remained mute, and has also largely kept a blind eye to all these. We never
heard anything of note from the Commission. On occasions, these rights abuses were even carried out within the perimeter of the Commission itself. The commission never ever seem to even publicly condemn those, even verbally. There have been revelations and confirmation of mass extrajudicial murder of over three hundred defenceless citizens (by government’s own confession) carried out by the Nigerian Army, paid from tax payers’ money to defend the very people they massacred. There was also confession of mass grave – a crime against humanity by all international standards. There has also been blatant
abuse of due process and the rule of law by public officers pertaining to this matter, resulting in severe cases of abuse of fundamental human rights of our leader and members. Despite all these, the Commission has remained mute.

We have all along endured State-perpetrated violence in the course of engaging in our religious rites, sometimes with great losses of innocent lives of citizens. Furthermore, court judgement that declared the continued detention of our leader and his wife as unconstitutional is being contemptuously defied with so much impunity by the Federal government, against the rule of law and natural

Sir, we are writing to you to raise your voice to demand justice for Zaria
Massacre, immediate release of Sheikh Zakzaky and to halt the continuing persecution of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN).

In addition to the massacres of December 2015, and the hundreds of detentions without charge, or arrests and sentences based on trumped up charges, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky, our leader and Malama Zeenah remain imprisoned without charges or access to medical and legal consultations despite the court order
demanding their release from December 2016.

We are sure you agree that all these are unacceptable state of affairs, and that the Human Rights Commission must intervene to ensure that these injustices are rectified immediately. We urge your office to take this issue head-on and take all necessary actions
against these gross violations of the rights of citizens guaranteed by the
Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended), which all political office holders swore to uphold and protect.

We look forward to hearing from you soonest regarding the actions the
Commission will take in this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Abdulhamid Bello

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One Thought to “Letter from IMN to NHRC: “You are mute and You keep blind eye, even to rights abuses within perimeter of the Commission””

  1. […] her speech, she praised the legendary peaceful disposition of members of the Islamic Movement. The letter was handed over to […]

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