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The Shiite Muslim group has said that none of its members will appear before a Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the recent crisis in Zaria, Kaduna State until the group’s leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky is released.

The Shiites were involved in a battle with soldiers of the Nigerian Army in December 2015 after they allegedly attempted to assassinate Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

Zakzaky was arrested in the ensuing chaos and his whereabouts have not been officially disclosed.

The group’s position was stated by its interim leader, Sheik Yakubu Yahaya during a news conference in Katsina State on Wednesday, February 3, 2016, according to Daily Trust.

“From the foregoing, the recent statement of General Buratai at the human rights sitting calling for the ban on the movement shows a preemptive move targeted at us, we have been in existence for over 40 years and our right to association and religious understanding is being trampled upon," he said.

“We are not terrorists, don’t own any weapon and we don’t intend to have any, we are ready to help in exposing anyone with weapons, so stop capitalising on this allegation to drag our name in the mud," he added. 

Earlier reports had it that Zakzaky had been flown to France to receive treatment for injuries sustained in the battle.

He is now said to be recuperating in Abuja.

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