Army seeks continued probe of soldiers, Shiites clash

El-Zakzaky

El-Zakzaky

Following the withdrawal of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) lawyers from the ongoing investigation in the Soldiers-Shiites clash, the Nigerian Army yesterday expressed dissatisfaction with the continued adjournment and demanded for speedy hearing at the judicial commission of inquiry set up by Kaduna State government.

The legal team of the Shiites announced withdrawal from the sitting of the judicial panel, saying that it had been denied access getting the briefing of the Shiites leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky who is in detention.

Besides, the panel had to adjourn its sitting till Wednesday, (yesterday) to allow counsel to the movement have access to
Zakzaky.

However, at its resumed sitting yesterday, one of the counsel to the commission, Yusuf Ali (SAN), said the legal team of the commission had got access to IMN leader.

Ali said Sheik Zakzaky had indicated interest to present his own side of the story before the commission, adding that it was based on access to the IMN leader that there was need to adjourn the sitting again for the sixth time.

But expressing worry over the frequent adjournments, one of the counsel to the Nigerian Army, Mr. Biola Oyebanji, opposed the application for adjournment, saying that his clients deserved speedy hearing having waited for so long for IMN to present its own side of the story without doing so.

Ali said that IMN is a corporate body while Zakzaky is an individual, and as such, the IMN could go on with its memorandum without necessarily accessing Zakzaky.

He further argued that the Nigerian Army needed to be heard at yesterday’s sitting even if the hearing would not end immediately, saying: “What happens if same circumstances presents itself at the next sitting?”

In adjourning the sitting to April 6, 2016, Justice Garba said the commission carefully considered Ali’s submission that IMN leader had been accessed and that the IMN leader is ready to present his own side of the story.

“The commission is inclined to grant an opportunity to him to be heard because the reason for previous adjournments was lack of access to the IMN leader.



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