The Judicial Commission of inquiry constituted by the Kaduna State government to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the clash between the Nigeria Army and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) at its resumed sitting in Kaduna, Monday failed for the fifth time to take the memorandum from the Army as promised and adjourned till Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016.
It would be recalled that the panel had last week ordered the counsel to the IMN to presents it’s memorandum on or before Monday 21st of March, 2016, while assuring that the commission would commence it’s proceedings in earnest by taking the memorandum submitted by the Nigeria Army on the said date.
The panel, however, failed to keep to its order as it again adjourned for the fifth time in it’s sitting till Wednesday 23rd, 2016 for continuation of its proceedings.
The reason for the adjournment according to the Chairman of the commission, Justice Muhammadu Garba Lawal, was to avail the counsel to the IMN another opportunity and any benefit of doubt to have access to their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
The chairman said, ” The commission has considered the unexpected application by the counsel to the commission for yet another adjournment to enable the counsel to IMN have access to their leader.
“The inability of the counsel to the IMN to see the leader of the movement is the reason for the adjournment, now with the strong indication of the possibility of seeing him today (Monday), it is reasonable to grant a short adjournment.
“The commission has granted the application and proceedings adjourned till Wednesday, 23rd March, 2016 and to also take the presentation from the army,” he emphasized.
Earlier in his application, one of the leading counsels to the Commission, Yunus Ustaz Usman (SAN), informed the Commission that efforts to get access to the leader of the Islamic Movement is beginning to yield fruits.
Usman explained that himself and Yusuf Ali (SAN) met with the Director General of the Directorate of the Security Services on the 16th March, 2016 who assured them that they alongside counsel to the IMN will be able to see the leader of the movement Monday by 12 noon.
“I am now being forced by this development to try your lordship patience again for the last time for another adjournment in the absolute interest of justice,” he added.
Other counsel representing groups who also submitted memorandum concurred with the position of the learned senior counsel to the commission except for the counsel to the army who wished the adjournment could be shifted until after the Easter break, but it was turned down.
It would be recalled that the commission ajourned from the -inaugural sitting on the 22nd February to the 24th, then to the 29th and to 7th March and to the 14th March, and again to March 21st and now to the 23rd ofMarch, 2016 all due to the inability of the counsels to the IMN to see the leader of the movement.
Meanwhile, counsel to the Shi’ite group were not present at yesterday’s sitting and no memorandum was submitted, neither was any reason verbal or written given for their absence.
The Commission is in its fifth week out of the six weeks given to them to complete their assignment and submit their reports.