Shi’ite members have refused to appear before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry on the Army/Shi’ites clash in Zaria that left over sixty persons killed and several others injured, stressing that they will only appear if they have access to their leader, Shiekh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, who will direct them on whether or not to appear.
Members of the 13-man commission headed by Justice Muhammadu Lawal Garba, were already at the Hassan Katsina State House, Kaduna as at 9am on Monday to listen to parties involved in the Zaria clash case. But they were told that the Shiite had through a letter to the commission turned down its invitation, giving a condition without which they will not appear.
Meanwhile, the General Officer Commanding, GOC, 1 Mechanised Division, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade appeared for the Army alongside other senior army officers.
The Commission of Inquiry was set up by Kaduna State government to examine the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria clash.
Addressing the sitting, the Chairman of the commission, Justice Muhammadu Lawal Garba, said, “This sitting has to be adjourned till Wednesday because of the absence of one party involved in the inquiry.”
He told counsel to the commission, Yusuf Ali SAN to find out the whereabouts of the Shiite leader, Zakzaky and report back to the commission within 24 hours, stressing that it is required by the law for every party in the clash to be present at all the sittings of the proceedings.
Addressing journalists shortly after the adjournment, Ali promised to locate the leader of the Shiites within 24 hours to enable his lawyers have access to him.
It would be recalled that Shi’ites had before now faulted the 13-man composition of the panel, saying some of its members are already against the Movement.