Nigeria Digest #80

Nigeria Digest #80

Islamic Human Rights Commission
NIGERIA DIGEST 31 March 2019 (Volume 3 Issue 12)

Action Alert


Massive #FreeZakzaky demonstrations continued in various Nigerian cities as government authorities are abusing the court process by various ploys to prolong the trial and illegal detention of Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife. During this week the Kaduna court dismissed two government appeals against the Islamic movement for lack of merit.

Click here to watch the weekly message from IHRC chair Masoud Shadjerah about our fundraising and campaigning for the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. 

We request campaigners keep the pressure on the Commonwealth by writing emails/letters, demanding the immediate release of the Sheikh and all those unjustly imprisoned. Please forward any responses you receive to us on and keep the pressure up by continuing to send follow-ups. A model letter is provided below in the Action Alert.

To find out more about the Zaria massacre of 2015, read IHRC’s submission to the International Criminal Court here

To find out how you can help further, please visit the IHRC FreeZakzaky campaign page here

Free Zakzaky!


1. Click here to learn the five things you can do to support the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. You can donate to support the medical expenses of those recently injured by clicking here.

2. Please send an email to the Commonwealth and demand their intervention in this case. A model letter and contact details of the Commonwealth are provided below. Please forward any responses you receive to IHRC at

Model email / letter
If you are emailing, please use the following in the subject line:
Commonwealth’s failure to act on human rights abuses in Nigeria

Your name
Your address

Rt Hon Patricia Scotland QC
Commonwealth Secretariat
Marlborough House
Pall Mall

Dear Baroness Scotland QC,

Re: Commonwealth’s failure to act on human rights abuses in Nigeria

Nigeria has been the subject of repeated complaints over its killings of supporters of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria from 2015 onwards and the arrest and prosecution of its leader Sheikh Ibrahim el-Zakzaky, his wife Zeenah and other members.

In stark contrast to the Commonwealth Secretariat’s robust stand during the tenure of President Abacha years, very little if anything has been said about this issue from your office.

Nigerian authorities are currently trying Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife along with two other members of the Islamic Movement on trumped up charges relating to events surrounding the massacre in December 2015 by the Nigerian military of over 1000 followers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria.  This case has only been made after the federal court ruled in late 2016 (a year after their detention) that Sheikh Zakzaky’s detention and that of his wife Zeenah was unlawful and unconstitutional and ordered the government to release them by January 16, 2017 and pay compensation. That order was never implemented and the charges were brought against the couple in 2018.
It is imperative that you apply pressure on the Nigerian authorities so that they stop killing innocent people and adhere to the High Court judgement of December 2016, and release Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife immediately.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Yours sincerely,

Commonwealth Contact Details:
Postal Address: Marlborough House, Pall Mall, London SW1Y 5HX, United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7747 6500
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7930 0827


Massive Free Zakzaky Peaceful Protest in Nigerian Capital Abuja
25 March 2019
Massive #free Zakzaky Peaceful protest was arranged in Abuja on Monday the 25th of March 2019. The protest terminated at the National Secretariat Abuja.

Nigerian Army Begs Court To Give Secret Testimony Against Members Of The Islamic Movement
29 March 2019
In what appears to be a face saving move, the Nigerian Army officers listed as witnesses in the case of alleged culpable homicide against some members of the Islamic Movement arrested since December 2015 during the infamous Zaria massacre have asked to be allowed to testify in camera, citing what they call fear for their safety as reason. Click here to read the full report.

Appeal Court Throws Out Govt’s Appeal Against Two Judgements In Favour Of Islamic Movt For Lacking Merit
28 March 2019

The Kaduna Court of Appeal today Thursday 28th March, 2019 threw out two appeals brought by the Kaduna state government against two landmark judgements given by two separate Kaduna High Courts that discharged and acquitted members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria for lack of merit.

In first of the two appeals, the Kaduna state government had appealed against the judgement of the state High court that in November 2017 discharged and acquitted 15 members of the Islamic Movement who were arrested a few days after the Zaria massacre in Kaduna for protesting the mass murder and arrest of Sheikh Zakzaky, and tried for sundry offences including unlawful assembly and causing bodily hurt to police and security officers.

The second appeal was against the judgement that also discharged and acquitted about a hundred members of the Islamic Movement who were arrested during the Zaria massacre of December 2015 and tried for alleged offences including culpable homicide. Click here to read the full story.

Why Kaduna High Court Adjourned Indefinitely Case Involving Sheikh Zakzaky
25 March 2019

The Kaduna State High Court has again adjourned the trial of the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife, Malama Zeenat, indefinitely to make room for the presiding judge, Justice Gideon Kurada to serve as judge in the Presidential and National Assembly Elections Petitions Tribunal in Yobe.

At the resumed hearing today, the judge had called counsels on both sides and offered two options to agree on, either to transfer the case to another court whose judge would be available for the duration the judge would be serving at the election tribunal or to wait until he completes his assignment at the tribunal. The defense lawyers chose the later after an extensive consultation on the pros and cons of either option. The case was consequently adjourned indefinitely.

Free Zakzaky Protest in Kaduna Ahead of Sheikh’s Trial on Monday
23 March 2019

Massive Protest Demanding The Freedom Of Sheikh Zakzaky was  Staged In Kaduna today Saturday the 23rd of March 2019, as Sheikh is to be Arraigned in Kaduna Court For Hearing On Monday the 25th of March 2019. 

Thousands of brothers and sisters, faithful followers of the revered leader staged fresh protest in the city of Kaduna today, 23/3/2019, despite tight security measures at some targeted areas, demanding the immediate release of their  leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and his wife who had since been acquitted of any crime by a federal high court in December 2016.

Meanwhile, in the course of the protest, it was reported to have said that armed mobile Police security agents have been deployed to some targeted areas, but the protest went successfully.

Security Forces Attacked Peaceful Brothers’ Program in Zaria.
23 March 2019

Security forces on Thursday the 21/3/2019 in Zaria, attacked peaceful brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, while peacefully conducting an annual program at Darul Rahma (Martyrs’ graveyaard).

Faithful brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement were gathered at the the martyrs graveyard that evening to commemorate their brothers when the security forces suddenly started firing gun shots..

Reports from Zaria states that, the security forces spent couple of minutes firing ammunition on brothers and sisters who were arm less. It was also reported that the security forces arrested some sisters along their way to Darur Rahma but were late released.

Brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement have been experiencing these fierce attacks from Nigeria security operatives at different times since 12-14th December 2015 incident, where lives of over 1000 of  peaceful citizens were exterminated by the securities in a country where Democracy rules.


Appeal to Help Recent Nigeria Massacre Victims
01 November 2018 – IHRC Weekly
The Nigerian authorities have attacked the Islamic Movement of Nigeria leaving dozens dead. They need your help now.

The Zaria Massacre
Published on 14 December 2015
On al-Quds Day in July 2014, a unit of the Nigerian army opened fire on one of the 33 al-Quds Day demonstrations in Zaria, Nigeria. 40 were killed and many injured. This is the story of that day as uncovered by an IHRC team.


Click here to read the letter by IHRC Chair Massoud Shadjareh to the ICC regarding the preservation of Zaria massacre-evidence. published on 30 November 2017

Click here to read IHRC Press release “ICC cautioned against blaming victims in Nigeria massacre investigation”, published on 06 March 2018

IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

Islamic Human Rights Commission
PO Box 598
United Kingdom

Telephone (+44) 20 8904 4222
Twitter @ihrc

The opinions expressed in this digest do not necessarily reflect the views of IHRC

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