As the Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the December Army/Shiite clash issues final notice for the Shiite community to make a formal presentation before the commission, the Shiites said they are yet to establish contact with their spiritually leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky.
Zakzaky was taken into custody by the Army after a raid on his house in Zaria on December 12 and 13, last year.
At the resumed hearing on Monday, following series of adjournments to enable the lawyers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) have access to Sheikh Zakzaky, the commission ordered the IMN to submit a memo stating its position on the incident before March 21, 2016.
Counsel to the IMN, Maxwell Kyon, narrated his frustration in the bid to have access to the sect leader, as relevant security organs have refused to honour the commission’s order to let the lawyers meet with the sect’s leader.
Mr. Kyon requested for more time to enable him meet with Zakzaky.
But Chairman of the commission, Justice Muhammed Lawal Garba, ruled that while the commission would adjourn to March 21 to allow the IMN meet its leader, the movement should submit a memo to the commission before that date since it had been sending legal representation.
He said the commission would proceed with the public hearing irrespective of what transpires by hearing the memo from the Nigerian Army on March 23.
But in a swift reaction to the new order, the sect’s followers insist they were not going to make any presentation before the commission until Sheikh Zakzaky is released from detention.
“What will our Lawyers submit to the Commission if our leader is denied his fundamental human right of access to his lawyers for proper and professional briefing?” the group queried in a press release issued by Ibrahim Musa, its spokesman.
“While we will be glad if the legal rights of our leader are restored, we still reiterate our earlier demand that we will not work with the Commission of Inquiry unless he is released after more than ninety days incarceration,” the statement reads further.
“We wish to remind the Commission that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was attacked in his house for two days, wherein his 3 children were murdered in cold blood, his wife shot, he himself wounded by bullets in six different places, his senior sister roasted alive including some women, hundreds of his followers killed by gunshots, his house demolished with the rubble cleared, his Islamic centre bulldozed and cleared also, and his mothers grave desecrated along with that of his children. If the public is not allowed to hear his own side of the story, whose story will do justice to the terms of reference, given to the Commission?”