Shiites fault panel’s decision to begin hearing without El-Zakzaky
Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (Shiites) have disagreed with the judicial panel investigating the clash between the group and soldiers, over its decision to commence hearing without releasing their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky from detention.
The group also claimed in a statement issued by its media officer, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, that the panel should have ordered the government to allow El-Zakzaky’s lawyers have access to him.
Musa said that: “The judicial commission of inquiry sitting in Kaduna has for the fifth time adjourned its sitting to next week Monday, March 21, 2016, promising to go ahead with proceedings, even if El-Zakzaky is not granted access to his lawyers.”
According to him: “We find this directive perplexing and contrary to the directive of the Commission at the last sitting on March 7, 2016. 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?
“We wish to remind the Commission that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was attacked in his house for two days, wherein his three children were killed, his wife shot, he himself wounded, his senior sister burnt alive including some women, hundreds of his followers killed by gunshots, his house demolished, his Islamic centre bulldozed and his mother’s grave desecrated with that of his children.
“If the public is not allowed to hear from him, whose story will do justice to the terms of reference given to the commission?’
Secretary of the panel, Dr. Bala Babaji in a statement said that: “The commission notes the request by its counsel to facilitate access by the Islamic Movement’s counsel to their client, the leader of the group, which request has been endorsed by all the parties present at proceedings.”
He added that: “We observe that this is the fourth week out of the six allotted to the commission to complete its assignment. Consequently we deem it imperative for the work of the panel to now proceed in earnest.”