Army/Shi’ite Clash: Shi’ites Shun Inquiry Panel as Public Hearing Commences
Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Shi’ite, on Monday refused to appear before the inaugural sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which commenced sitting in Kaduna to look into the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the movement, which occurred between 12 and 13 December, 2015.
However, the General Officer Commanding (G.O.C.) of 1 Division, Major-General Adeniyi Oyebade and other Officers of the Nigerian Army, were present to tell their own side of the story.
It will be recalled that a 13-man Commission of Inquiry was set up by Kaduna state government to look into the immediate and remote cause of the Zaria clash.
Lawyers to the Islamic movement were also absent. They wrote to the commission of their inability to submit any memorandum because of lack of access to their leader, Sheik Ibraheem el-Zakzaky, whose directive they needed to obey and work with.
Meanwhile, chairman of the commission, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Garba, in his speech said; “This sitting has to be adjourned till Wednesday because of the absence of one party involved in the inquiry.
He also told Counsel to the commission, Yusuf Ali (SAN), to find out the whereabouts of the leader of the Shi’ites and report back to the commission within 24 hours; adding that, it is required by law for every party in the clash to be present at all the sittings of the proceedings.
The chairman also announced that a total of 105 memoranda had been received from members of the public, while reassuring the sitting that the commission would conduct an unbiased investigation and recommend necessary action that would be fair to all parties involved.
The Islamic movement had, before now, faulted the 13-man composition of the panel, saying some of its members are already against the movement.