The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), has recounted the experience of its Leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, and members in the hands of officers of the Nigerian police, especially the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Abdullahi Musa, Secretary, Academic Forum of the proscribed IMN, gave details of the encounter in a statement made available in Abuja.
According to Musa, in Nigeria, policing has long been turned into an instrument of terror, causing great harm and injury to innocent people who are supposed to be protected.
“In particular, police brutality against peaceful Free Zakzaky Protesters has long been emblematic of the inhumane and senseless.
“The brutality of the Nigerian Police Force is impossible to be justified, no matter the level of insensitivity.
“What excuses or alibis have the police got for killing or injuring protesters who simply call for the immediate and unconditional release of an oppressed personage the Nigerian Army had traced to his residence, spraying him and his wife with bullets, slaying his three sons before his naked eyes, eliminating over a thousand of his followers, dragging him on the gory corpses of the murdered sons, setting his residence afire and demolishing it anon?
“The campaign of illegal detentions, illegal destruction of properties, illegal extortions, illegal torture, illegal harassment and illegal executions of Sheikh Zakzaky’s supporters can never be condoned by any civilised society, and should not be overlooked here in Nigeria to boot,” he said.
Musa narrated that on July 22, 2019, police operatives opened fire on Free Zakzaky Protesters at the Federal Secretariat, maiming a lot and killing 12 on the spot while another three died in FCT SARS detention centre.
“Even the late DCP was killed in the line of fire by the bullets of his colleagues, the sole aim of whom was to frame the protesters whose only demand has been, and yet is, freedom for their leader Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenah Ibrahim; according to the legal order by the Supreme Court of Justice in Nigeria.
“The shoot to kill doctrine of the Nigerian police when it comes to protesters has claimed many lives. Including Precious Owolabi, an apprentice journalist with Channels TV, who was executed for recording police crimes,” he added.
He said despite the Federal High Court judgement delivered by Justice Taiwo Taiwo, the police were still detaining eight corpses of Free Zakzaky Protesters at National Hospital and Asokoro District Hospital, Abuja.
“It was so bloody a massacre that almost all survivors merely escaped by the skin of their teeth.
“However, killing and injuring so many people on the march did not seem to have bothered the police as well-armed policemen in vans raided one of the hospitals to which a lot of the victims had been taken and admitted in, and even started receiving treatment.
“They carted them away and dumped them at SARS headquarters, now SWAT, where they were beaten and tortured within an inch of their lives.
“To date, eight families are yet to bury their fathers, brothers and sons. These eight people who were executed by the police are not only dead, they are also hostages,” he remarked.
Musa, who said the brutalities of the police and military would not deter them from demanding the unconditional release of El-Zakzaky and his wife, urged the Nigerian youth “to keep on calling for the end of injustice, police and military brutality.”