The legal team of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), the Shi’ites, Tuesday announced its withdrawal from the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, even as the Commission sits Wednesday after several adjournments to investigate the December 2015 Zaria clash between the Shi’ites, and the Nigerian Army.
Chairman of the Commission, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Garba had last Monday adjourned till Wednesday to enable the Shiites have access to their leader, Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky.
However, addressing the press Tuesday, legal team of the movement, led by Mr. Festus Okoye, said since they could not get access to the Shiites leader after several adjournments, they have no option than to withdraw completely from appearing before the commission, as they cannot file memorandum without hearing from Zakzaky.
Okoye said, “The legal team has resolved that in the light of the realities of lack of access, briefing and representation for the Movement, the most honourable thing to do is to withdraw completely from appearance before the Commission in whatever form and manner and to cease any form of representation in whatever form or manner for the Movement.
“The legal team thought it could lend its support to the Movement to tell the Nigerian public and the international community its own version of the events of the 12th to 14th of December 2015 but all efforts aimed at getting proper briefing from the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria met a brick wall.
“The legal team of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria will not be used and will not allow itself to be used to legitimize a predetermined position and agenda against the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.
“The Islamic Movement in Nigeria believes that the Nigerian people are entitled to know the truth of what happened in Zaria and Kaduna and will explore alternative means and avenues of letting the Nigerian people know the truth of what happened,” he said.
Corroborating Okoye’s position, the daughter of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria leader, Suhaila Ibrahim El-Zakzaky recounted her ordeal of what she described as the bloody invasion of their home by men of the Nigerian Army.
She said they were observing the early morning prayers when they gain entrance and raid the house.
According to her, “We were at home when the attacks on the Hussainniya started. It was around 10pm at night, we heard gunshots from afar. It turned out that the military were there. They were shooting at people and advancing towards the house. We spent our night with shooting going on.
“It was morning when a lot of people were performing their early morning prayers, they got the opportunity to come close to the house and that was when they eventually gain entrance to house. They killed as much people as they found. They burnt some alive. We were in the house but in the part that was not burnt down but I think they assumed that everybody was burnt. So they didn’t search. We spent the night like that.
“In the morning, I think they came to search the house to see what is there. I myself, my parents, my brothers and some other members of the movement were there when they discovered where we were hiding. They randomly shot at us for few seconds or mother. When it finally stopped, that was when we realized that my father and mother have been shot. And my three brothers have been shot dead and other people they were with. They took us away one by one. We were beaten up and taking away in trucks to the Army depot in Zaria. Since then we lost contact till date. We were detained for four days,” she narrated.