On Wednesday, the National Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) visited the imprisoned the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky in Abuja.
Sheikh Zakzaky has been imprisoned by the Federal Government since his arrest by Nigerian soldiers on December 14, 2015.
According to a member of the committee, Professor Dahiru Yahya, the group was able to meet with both Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife, Sister Zeenah Ibraheem, both of whom were recovering from bullet wounds received during their arrests.
In a press release issued on Thursday, the IMN welcomed the news of the visit and the chance to check on the health of their leader. For the past few weeks a fear that Sheikh Zakzaky may be seriously ill or even dead began to take hold.
Despite their relief that Sheikh Zakzaky was not dead, the IMN repeated their request that their leader be released “unconditionally”. In addition, the group also demanded that the bodies of those killed be returned to their families, that the true number of dead be released, and that an independent judicial commission be established to determine what happened during the Zaria massacre.
Sheikh Zakzaky’s arrest followed the December 12 massacre of hundreds of Shiites by Nigerian soldiers in the city of Zaria.
On December 12, members of IMN clashed with the Nigerian Army on the streets of Zaria. The military claimed that members of IMN set up a roadblock in an attempt to trap and then assassinate Army Chief of Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai. However, the IMN alleged that they were merely holding a peaceful protest.
Two days after the massacre, SaharaReporters obtained a video depicting a pile of dead Shiite Muslims, dumped by the Nigerian military, along a street in Zaria which were being looted by passersby.