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Shiites vs Army Falana urges Buhari to prosecute Buratai

The clash between soldiers and the Shiites occurred after members of the group allegedly attempted to assassinate Buratai on December 12.

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Prominent lawyer, Femi Falana has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to make sure that Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is prosecuted in connection with the recent clash between soldiers and Shiite Muslims in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Falana made the call via a statement released on Wednesday, December 23, 2015.

The statement reads:

“It is pertinent to remind the army and police authorities that even under a repressive military junta, the right of access to detainees was fought and won in Nigeria.”

“Thus, in Chief Gani Fawehinmi vs General Sani Abacha (1996) 5 NWLR (PT 447) 198 at 202, the Court of Appeal ordered the Attorney-General of Federation, Inspector-General of Police and the operatives of the State Security Services to allow the wife and personal physicians of the appellant, a political detainee, to have access to him in prison custody ‘at all reasonable times.’”

“In requesting the Inspector-General of Police to allow access to the detainees, his attention ought to be drawn to Section 14(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act which provides as follows: “A person who has the custody of an arrested suspect shall give the suspect reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, access to communication for taking steps to furnish bail, and otherwise making arrangements for his defence or release.””

“In the light of the foregoing, we urge the police boss to allow the detainees access to their family members, personal physicians and legal practitioners at all reasonable times.”

“Having undertaken to end impunity in the country, President Buhari should ensure that the Chief of Army Staff and all the soldiers who took part in the violent attack and arson in Zaria are brought to book without any further delay.”

The clash between soldiers and the Shiites occurred after members of the group allegedly attempted to assassinate Buratai on December 12.

The situation escalated after soldiers surrounded the home of the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and arrested him.

Human rights activists have condemned the attacks and called for a probe even as the Shiites claim that about a thousand members of the group were killed.

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Watch video of confrontation between soldiers and Shiites below:

Should Buratai be prosecuted over Zaria attacks?»

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