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The Federal Government, on Wednesday, accused Iran of sponsoring the detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, Shiek Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, to forcefully turn the country into an Islamic State. In a fresh process it filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja, FG, alleged that El-Zakzaky was being sponsored to replicate a violent revolution that led to the forceful takeover of power in Iran in 1979.
FG told the court that the relationship between El-Zakzaky and Iran started shortly after the said revolution that toppled a sitting government, stressing that currently, members of the IMN, do not recognize President Muhammadu Buhari’s authority.
It said that El-Zakzaky who was a Shia activist in the University was “heavily influenced” by the Iranian revolution, and had since galvanized his followers and brainwashed them to unleash mayhem against the Nigerian State and its citizens. Consequently, in a 56-paragraphed counter-affidavit that was deposed to by the Deputy Commissioner of Police in Charge of Operation, FCT Command, Enyinnaya Adiogu, FG, urged the court to dismiss the suit the IMN filed to challenge the order that proscribed its activities in Nigeria. DCP Adiogu told the court that he had the consent of the Attorney General of the Federation, the National Security Adviser, and the Inspector General of the Police, to depose to the affidavit.
He averred: “That from history and facts available, the Movement Called Islamic Movement of Nigeria founded by El-Zakzaky has its sole aim of creating an Islamic State. “That Sheik El-Zakzaky was heavily influenced by the Iranian revolution, which saw Ayatollah Khomeini take power in 1979 after the overthrow of the Shah in a popular uprising. Khomeini remains the Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s main inspiration. “That members of IMN First pledge allegiance to Khomeini at their gatherings, and then to their local leader, Sheikh Zakzaky.
“The IMN views itself as a government, and Sheikh Zakzaky as the only legitimate source of authority in Nigeria and it does not recognise the authority of the Nigerian government, and views its leaders both Muslims and Christians as corrupt and ungodly.
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That the Islamic Movement in Nigeria began with a Shia Muslim university activist Ibraheem El-Zakzaky who became so impressed with the 1979 revolution in Iran that he wanted one at home (Nigeria).
“Later, El-Zakzaky went to Iran, ultimately becoming a Shia cleric. “That at his return home, Ibraheem El-Zakzaky formed the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and turned it into a vehicle for proselytizing and gaining followers in 1990s.
“That the violent acts of the members of the Respondent/Applicant right from its inception up to the 24tg day of July 2019, is chronicled in an affidavit in support of the motion used in proscribing the Respondent/Applicant.
That considering the violent acts of the members of the Respondent/Applicant, and their known agenda of achieving an Islamic State in Nigeria, the office of the National Security Adviser wrote to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria requesting for his approval to proscribe the Respondent/Applicant. “That the Presidential Approval was obtained and same was conveyed by Exhibit 10 attached to the affidavit of the Applicant/Respondent in support of the Motion Exparte dated the 25th July 2019 and the court sighted same during the hearing of the Exparte application.
“That after hearing the motion exparte filed by the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation, this Honourable Court made an order declaring the Islamic Movement in Nigeria as a terrorist group. “The Certified True Copy of the Records of proceedings of 26th day of July 2019 and the Order of the Court is hereby attached and marked Exhibit FGN16 and FGN17, respectively.
That I was informed by Dayo Apata Esq, Solicitor General of the Federation and one of the Counsel handling this matter on the 23rd day of August, 2019 at about 12.00 13.00 hours during briefing on this matter in his office at the Federal Ministry of Justice Abuja, and verily believe him to be true as follows: “That Contrary to the deposition of Haruna Garba Magashi in paragraphs 7, 8 and 9, the Prescription process is done without service on the proscribed organisation or its members. “That Contrary to the deposition in paragraphs 7-9 of the Respondent/Applicant’s supporting affidavit, the procedure for proscription does not require service on the Respondent. “That one Hammed Ajibola Iimoh Esq, in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/1103/2017 between Hammed Ajibola limoh Esq vs Attorney General of the Federation of the Federal Republic of Nigeria challenged the Provision of Section 2 (1) of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act 2011, (as amended 2013) as constituting a breach of fair hearing.
That the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja per Maha J., followed, relied and adopted the decision of Kafarati CJ. (as he then was) in the case of Attorney of the Federation v. Indigenous People of Biafra, Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/871/2017 decided that Section 2 (1) of Section 2 (1) of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act, (as amended 2013) is not in breach of fair hearing. “Certified True Copy of the Judgment of Maha J., referred to in the above paragraph delivered on the 6th March 2019 and the Certified True Copy of the Ruling of Kafarati CJ. (as he then was) in Suit No. FHC/ABI/CS/871/2017 delivered on 18/1/2018 are hereby attached and Marked Exhibit FGN19 and FGN2O respectively. “That the decision of Kafarati CJ (as he then was) in suit No. FHC/ABI/CS/871/2017 delivered on 18/1/2018 upholding the position that Section 2(1) of the Terrorism (Prevention & Prohibition) Act 2011, (as amended 2013) is not in breach of Right to Fair Hearing has been appealed against and the Appeal is still pending at the Court of Appeal Abuja. The Notice of Appeal in Appeal No. CA/A/214/2018 between Indigenous People of Biafra v. Attorney General of the Federation is hereby attached and marked Exhibit FGN21.
“That due to the violent nature of the activities of members of the Respondent/Applicant, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) has urged the Federal Government to curtail activities of the Respondent/Applicant. “That despite the subsistence of the Court Order, the members of the Respondent have described the proscription as a huge joke and have continued to protest in Abuja and other State.
That the members of the Respondent/Applicant protested on the 30/07/2019, 31/07/2019, 01/08/2019, 02/08/2019 and 8/08/2019 in violation of the Court Order made on the 26th July 2019.
“That there are several unregistered organisation such as 1. ‘Abdullah Azzam brigades, 2. AI-Mulathameen, 3. Amaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, 4. Allied Democratic Forces, 5. Ansar al-Sharia Dema , 6. Ansar aI-Sharia (Libva), 7. Ansar aI-Sharia Tunisia 8. Ansar Bait al-Ma-disAnsar ul Islam 2.Ansaru Armed Islamic Grouof Aheria, 10. AI-Barakat, Boko Haram, 11. Egyptian Islamic Jihad, 12. Al-Jama’a al-lslamia 13. Islamic State in Somalia, 14. Al-Itihaad al-Islamia, 15. Jabhatul Islamia, 16. Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. 17. Lord’s Resistance Army, 18. Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group, 19. AI-Mourabitoun militant group, 20. Jama’at Nasr al-lslam wal Muslimin, 21. Movement for Oneness and Jihad in West Africa, 22. Muaskar Anole, 23. Mu’ahideen Shura Council in the Environs of Jerusalem 24. Muslim Brotherhood, 25. Muslim Brotherhood in Ezwt, 26. Ras Kamboni Brigades, 27. Al-Shabaab militant group, 28. Soldiers of Egypt, and 29. Tunisian Combatant Group, that are not registered but are designated as terrorist groups in Africa.
That incorporation or Registration is not a criterion for the designation or proscription of an organisation or named group as a terrorist group. “That once an association of person under a name have decided to wreak havoc on a state and its citizenry, that organisation can be proscribed and designated a terrorist group.
“That some other organisation of the Shiites (Shia) practising Muslims such as the group led by Hamza Muhammed Lawal have distanced themselves from the Respondent.