PRESS STATEMENT: SHEIKH ZAKZAKY MUST BE GRANTED ACCESS TO HIS LAWYERS
Today 14-03-16, the judicial commission of inquiry on the gruesome killings perpetrated by the Nigerian army in Zaria, sitting in Kaduna has for the fifth time adjourned its sittings to next week Monday being the 21st day of March 2016, promising to go ahead with proceedings, even if the Leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is not granted access to his lawyers. The Commission also directed the Lawyers to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria who were present in the sitting to prepare a written memo before then and file in the Commissions registry.
We find this directive perplexing and contrary to the directive of the Commission at the last sitting on the 7th day of March 2016. What will our Lawyers submit to the Commission if our leader is denied his fundamental human right of access to his lawyers for proper and professional briefing?
We wish to remind the Commission that Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was attacked in his house for two days, wherein his 3 children were murdered in cold blood, his wife shot, he himself wounded by bullets in six different places, his senior sister roasted alive including some women, hundreds of his followers killed by gunshots, his house demolished with the rubble cleared, his Islamic centre bulldozed and cleared also, and his mothers grave desecrated along with that of his children. If the public is not allowed to hear his own side of the story, whose story will do justice to the terms of reference, given to the Commission?
We find it strange that the Commission that is aware that the Nigerian Military and the Department of State Services (DSS) are holding the leader, spokesperson and custodian of the properties of the Movement hostage will go ahead to issue such an order. We thought that the Commission will insist that the security agencies should obey its order and grant access to the lawyers of the Movement to see him. What impact will the Commission make if its orders are not obeyed by the security services? We are of the view that the Commission must establish its independence by enforcing its order and directive rather than threatening to go ahead with its supposed assignment when the leader of one of the parties and his wife are held in solitary confinement.
Whosoever advised the Commission to continue with its proceeding does not wish the Commission well, because whatever it will eventually submit to those that set it up will lack credibility in the eyes of well meaning Nigerians and the world in general if it cannot secure access to one of the parties in the conflict.
While we will be glad if the legal rights of our leader are restored, we still reiterate our earlier demand that we will not work with the Commission of Inquiry unless he is released after more than ninety days incarceration.
We therefore advise the Commission not to engage in a fruitless exercise if it cannot secure access to the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The Nigerian people should note that the leader of the Movement and the wife are held in solitary confinement and have not been charged with any offence since they were mortally wounded on the 12th and 13th of December 2016.
We urge all well meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to release the leader of our Movement to enable him tell the Nigerian people and the world the atrocities committed by the Nigerian military. Our leader is being held in solitary confinement because those that committed genocide against the members of the Movement do not want the world to hear and witness what they did.
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA
0805 078 6093