Zaria Clash: Shiite members’ absence stalls Panel of Inquiry sitting again

Zaria Clash: Shiite members’ absence stalls Panel of Inquiry sitting again

Wednesday, February 24, 2016 12:18 pm

Sheikh Ibraheem ZakZaky

Sheikh Ibraheem ZakZaky

Femi Adi, Kaduna

The members of Islamic Movement of Nigeria, popularly known as Shiite sect again refused to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on grounds that they must have access to their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky , whose whereabouts is still unknown since he was arrested after the bloody clash between the army and Shiite members in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Though counsel to the Shiite members, Barrister Maxwell Kyon, appeared physically at the General Hassan Katsina State House today, the sitting was stalled due to non appearance of the Shiite sect members.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Kaduna State government had adjourned Monday sitting till Wednesday with an order to the commission’s counsel , Alhaji Yusuf Ali , SAN to facilitate how the counsel to the Shiite members can see El-Zakzaky within 24 hours.

However, the Counsel to Shiite, Barrister Kyon, reported to the Panel of Inquiry that they were yet to have access to El-Zakzaky in order to give directive for appearance. Kyon pleaded for two weeks adjournment to enable him get access to his client. But the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Garba asked the counsel to the Nigerian Army, Mr. Abba Audu whether he opposed the two weeks plea. The Army counsel conceded to the plea on grounds that it was in the interest of justice.

However, a member of the Inquiry Commission, Usman Yunus Ustaz (SAN) objected to the plea, stressing that a grace of two weeks was too long to be granted since the panel has only six weeks to conclude its assignment .

The Commission’s Chairman did not grant the Shiite members counsel’s plea for two weeks grace, but adjourned the sitting till Monday, February 29, as a period for the counsel to get access to El-Zakzaky.

“We are adjourning till February 29, to enable you get access to your client, and whether you get access to him or not, you have to report back to the Commission so that we can continue with the proceedings,” the Panel Chairman said.

Menwhile, fielding question from newsmen shortly after the adjournment, Zakzaky’s counsel, Barrister Kyon disclosed that the embattled Shiites leader is in the custody of the Directorate of the State Security, adding that the police and other security agencies are preventing him from having access to his client.

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