Islamic preacher freed after 3-year incarceration without trial

Aideloje Ojo

A Bida-based renowned Islamic scholar and preacher, Malam Isa Mohammed Awwal, has been released after spending three years in incarceration by the Department of State Service (DSS) for allegedly belonging to the Boko Haram sect.
Mallam, as the preacher is popularly known, was released at the weekend along with his junior brother Zuberu Ahmadu after human rights activist and civil society organisations, including the media, mounted pressure for his release in the absence of charges.

Blueprint learnt that the Islamic scholar was arrested at his Bida residence on July 25, 2012, and kept out of the reach of his family during the period of incarceration.

It was also learnt that persistent cries from his 82-year-old Aishatu Abdullahi that her son “does not belong to Boko Haram” drew the intervention of human rights lawyers.
Addressing a crowd of supporters that came out to receive him, Awwal said he had forgiven his jailers, describing his ordeal as “an act of God.”

He prayed for Allah divine guidance on those involved for them to realise their mistakes.
The aged mother told Blueprint that the release of her children was the best experience in her life and thanked all those that made it possible for to see them alive.

She said the release of her sons had vindicated the family’s position that they were not members of Boko Haram.
In the same vein, Alhaji Umaru Ndagi (Nmabala), an uncle to the Islamic scholar, said the family was particularly happy that the sons did not die in detection.
He expressed the family appreciation to the groups that fought for the freedom of the Islamic scholar without financial considerations.

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