Abuja - The Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)
has denied claims it is holding the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) into
the deadly clashes in Zaria into ransom.
The commission is probing the skirmishes that occurred in
December last year in the Kaduna city.
IMN has rejected an offer to appear at the inquiry citing
bias by officials and demanding the release of its jailed leader of the movement,
Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky.
Recently, counsel to the commission, Yunus Ustas Usman, was
quoted as accusing the IMN of “holding the commission to ransom.”
Usman is quoted as saying IMN had other stakeholders that it
could rely on if it was not able to secure a meeting with El-Zakzaky.
“The IMN views the statement made by Yunus Ustas Usman as
capable of grossly misleading the general public on who actually is stalling
proceedings in order to achieve an already clear set agenda of indicting the
movement,” said Ibrahim Musa, spokesperson of IMN.
Also read: WATCH: Army officers, Shiites members clash in Zaria
He said IMN maintained Zakzaky was the leader and custodian
of its properties.
Thus, he argued, it will be “unjust”, “unfair” and “against
the tenets of the rule of law and due process” for the leader to be held
Musa said for justice to prevail, IMN demanded the
unconditional release of Zakzaky to lead the movement to the JCI.
He said the leader of the movement must be presumed innocent
of whatever offence he is suspected of having committed.
“He cannot be held incommunicado and a Judicial Commission
of Inquiry presumably be set up to determine the remote causes of the crisis.”
The clashes in Zaria emanated from the army saying it was
responding to Zakzaky’s followers' attempt to assassinate the Chief of Army
Staff, Tukur Buratai.
This claim has been strongly rejected by the Islamic
movement and several human rights organisations who argue that the attack was
In January, the Kaduna State Government formed the
Commission for Judicial Inquiry into the causes of clashes.
- CAJ News