Army/Shi’ites clash: Probe panel begins hearing without Shi’tes
….As Army presents 4 witnesses
From Sola Ojo, Kaduna
COMMISSION of Inquiry set up by Kaduna State Government to look into last year’s bloody clash between men of Nigerian Army (NA) and members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in Zaria yesterday began hearing of memoranda submitted to it by NA and others despite the absence of representatives of the movement.
This came after series of adjournment due to inability of counsels to IMN to see their main client, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, who is said to be in the custody of Directorate of State Security (DSS) since the time of incident.
Meanwhile, Army presented it’s four witnesses who were part of the convoy of Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai on the fateful day. The witnesses include Major-General Ado Abubakar, Cornel Usman Kukasheka, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade and Brigadier-General Ayuba Ted Gamma.
Earlier, Chairman of Inquiry, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, told the gathering that the commission was satisfied that every opportunity has been afforded the IMN for fair hearing.
“I have said it before, this commission cannot compel the IMN whether to appear before it or not.
“Whether they change their mind or not to appear, the commissio will continue with the hearing to conclusion and submit its reports,” he stated.
After seven hours of presentation by Army, Justice Mohammed told every party that submitted memoranda to get ready as the hearing continues today (Thursday), saying if the IMN fail to appear again today, then the commission will hear from the next party.
Recall, that the Commission of Inquiry had six weeks from its first sitting to submit its final report with the first public sitting holding on 22nd February 2016, but extended by four weeks followed the request for additional time by its chairman.
Recall also that one of the counsels to IMN, Barrister Fetus Okoye, had threatened that the movement may withdrawn from the commission based on their inability to see Zakzaky after several attempts.
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