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Islamic group boycotts inquiry into Zaria clashes

03 February 2016, 07:45Emeka Okonkwo

Abuja - The Islamic State of Nigeria (IMN) has explained reasons behind its boycott of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the army’s clash with Muslims in Kaduna State.

Kaduna State, under the leadership of Governor Nasir Ahmad El-rufa’I, inaugurated the inquiry last month.

Ibrahim Musa, writing on behalf of IMN, argued the “commission looks more like an ‘Commission of Indictment’ rather than a ‘Commission of Inquiry.’”

He said some identified members of the commission had vested interests against the movement in particular and the Shi’a in general.

It is alleged the Kaduna State Government has demonstrated bias and made pre-matured conclusions against the movement even before setting up the commission.

“The Nigerian Army, ably represented in the Commission too, has vested interests with the level of serious and grievous allegations of massacre, illegal detention, rape, arson and wilful destruction of properties against it,” Musa said.

He argued the movement is not represented in the membership of the commission and the composition of the commission had no local or international human and humanitarian rights groups.

“In view of the above, the fairness, independence and impartiality of the Commission as required by Section 36 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the provisions of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are in doubt,” Musa said.

Also Read: Army-Shi’ite clashes: The names of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry announced

“The rules of natural justice require, inter alia, that where likelihood of bias can reasonably be inferred or discovered whether directly or indirectly from the surrounding circumstances, then fair hearing is not observed. This is because justice should not only be done but it must be manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to have been done.”

It proposed an independent judicial commission of inquiry with the supervisions and observation of international community be set up to inquire the Zaria incident of December 12-14.

Scores of Muslim followers, protesters demonstrating against the arrest of their leader, were killed.

The movement thus the leader of the Islamic Movement, Sheikh Ibraheem Yaqoub Zakzaky, be released from custody.

“Even as at the time of writing this statement, neither his family nor lawyers have met him wherever he is,” said Musa.

- CAJ News


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