Members of the Shiite who arrived in Abuja in large numbers yesterday, demanded the release of their leader Sheik Ibraheem El-Zakzaky , who the Army said it is holding in protective custody.
He was taken into custody after sustaining gunshot injuries during last weekend’s clash with soldiers in the convoy of Chief of Army Staff Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Some leaders of the sect told reporters that at a news conference in Abuja that they needed to give urgent medical attention to their leader. They urged the international community to put pressure on the Federal Government to release him to them and the remains of their members who died in the attack to enable them bury the dead in accordance with Islamic rites.
A leader of the sect in Adamawa State, Abdulrahman Abubakar said El-Zakyzaky had called to inform them that he received gun shots in his eyes and other parts of his body and did not know if he would survive the attack.
Abubakar said the attacks on their members took place in three different places and that the excuse by the Army that the attack was provoked by attack on the Chief of Army Staff was a barefaced lie.
He alleged the first attack on members of the movement took place two hours after the Chief of Army? Staff and his convoy had been allowed to pass. He further alleged that another attack at the residence of their leaders several kilometres from where the first attack took place, buttressed the claim that the attacks were premeditated.
The Secretary, Media Forum of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, ? Abdulmumin Giwa allged that the attacks took place for more than 27 hours.
“The soldiers came back two hours after the COAS had passed to unleash the terror. There is also an alternate route he could have passed,” he said.
He said the Army could not be a judge in their own case and called for an independent investigation.
The immediate past Chairman of the National Human Rights Commission, Dr Chidi Odinkalu expressed concern at the refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to make a pronouncement on the issue even “though the president? was quick to condemn terror attacks in Paris.”
Members of the movement also demanded compensation for their destroyed property.