The Judicial commission of Enquiry setup by Kaduna State government to look into the December 2015 clash between the Nigeria Army and Shiite Islamic Movement in Nigeria has said that the movement deliberately opted out of the commission.
The commission said the sect stop from appearing before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry sitting in Kaduna was not as a result of their denial of access to its leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Chairman of the Inquiry, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, who stated this on Tuesday, April 12, 2016, added that the sect group opted out not on the grounds of access to El-Zakzaky but a deliberate choice.
It would be recalled that the initial 6 weeks of the panel sitting was characterized by series of adjournment due to the inability of the IMN counsels to have access to their leader and take briefing from him.
Subsequently, one of the IMN counsels and El-Zakzaky's daughter, Festus Okoye and Suhaila El-Zakzaky respectively addressed a world press conference in Kaduna announcing their withdrawal from the commission's sitting on the ground that they were not allowed access to the leader of the movement.
"So the idea of fair hearing is not that a party must come, you must wait for a party, that if it doesn’t come, you cannot go on and achieve justice because he decided not to utilise the opportunity granted to him or her for a fair hearing," Justice Mohammed said.
He said the Shiites withdrawal will not frustrate the assignment of the Commission because, "we are looking for facts, it is not only the IMN that is part of what happened in Zaria on December12- 14, 2015."