The Federal Government has accused Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky, the leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (aka Shiite), of plotting to replicate the 1979 violent Iranian revolution in Nigeria.
The Nigerian Government alleges that El-Zakzaky was being sponsored by Iran to forcefully takeover power in the country.
This allegation was contained in an application filed before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
According to the federal government, followers of El-Zakzaky and members of his group do not recognise the authority of Muhammadu Buhari as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
The FG further noted that El-Zakzaky’s plan in collaboration with Iran was to forcefully turn the country into an Islamic State. Consequently, it urged the court to dismiss the suit challenging the proscription of his group’s activities.
In the affidavit filed before the court on Wednesday, the FG noted that El-Zakzaky’s relationship with Iran started after the revolution that overthrew the government of Iran in 1979, adding that he was heavily influenced by the revolution while he was a student in the university.
The Shiite leader has being in detention since December 2015 when his followers clashed with the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
His incarceration led to protests by his followers. The protests which mostly turned violent led to the death of many. Naija Buzz News covered everything you need to know about this case.
Read below in part the statement by Enyinnaya Adiogu, the Deputy Abuja Commissioner of Police, who filed the affidavit before the court.
“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.
“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 till date, Sheikh El-Zakzaky enjoys the support of Iran in all the activities of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, including the agenda to make Nigeria an Islamic State.
“That as a result of El-Zakzaky Movement’s activities, many Muslim youths have converted to Shia-Islam of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
“That the main aim of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is to propagate the ideology in Iran and turn the country (Nigeria) into an Islamic State as was done in the Iranian Revolution of 1979.”
Ibrahim Kenneth Suleiman is the Chief Political Editor at Naija Buzz News Network. He is a graduate of political science from the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, Kaduna State. He specializes in preparing/approving of political news contents before publication. He currently heads Naija Buzz News team of political correspondents. From Nasarawa State, North-Central Nigeria, Ibrahim is a strong supporter of Manchester United Football Club England.