El-Rufai inaugurates commission of inquiry, Friday
…we won’t appear at Commission—IMN
By Luka Binniyat
KADUNA—Governor Nasir El Rufai of Kaduna State, will next Friday inaugurate the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria clash between the Nigeria Army and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, IMN.
Consequently, the governor has appointed Malam Yusuf Ali, SAN, as counsel to the Commission of Inquiry.
But the IMN (Nigerian Shiites), yesterday in an exclusive chat with Vanguard, came short of calling the commission “useless,” as it restated its resolve not to appear at the Commission’s sittings if the leader of the movement, Shiekh Ibrahim Zakzaky, was not unconditionally released.
The IMN also said that some members of the commission were known adversaries of the IMN, having cast aspersions at the movement in public in the past.
The date of the inauguration of the Commission, which was contained in a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Mr. Samuel Aruwan, over the weekend in Kaduna, read: “The Kaduna State government last week announced the membership of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria clashes.
“The chairman is Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, the presiding justice of the Port Harcourt Division of the Court of Appeal.’’
The twelve other members of the commission of inquiry are Prof. Salihu Shehu, Prof. Umar Labdo, Malam Salihu Abubakar, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Mr. Afakirya Gadzama and Brig-Gen. Aminun and Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim.
Others are: Mrs. Khadijah Hawaja Gambo, Mr. Bilya Bala, Maj-Gen Alexander Anjili Mshelbwala, Mrs. Desire Deseye Nsirim, CP (retd.)
The rest are Mrs. Nsirim and Dr. Bala Babaji who has also been appointed the Secretary to the Commission. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies, Institute of Administration of the Ahmadu Bello University.
“The Judicial Commission of Inquiry is expected to submit its final report six weeks after its first public sitting”, said that statement.
But the Spokesman of the IMN, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, who spoke to correspondent in Kaduna over the matter, said: “I want to assure you that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry as constituted at present, and our conditions set down before appearing at the hearings not met, is not useful to us.
“We cannot appear at any Commission of Inquiry when our leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky, is still in custody. Our leader was arrested not on the road where the Army claimed that our members threatened the life of the Chief of Army Staff that afternoon.
‘’Our leader was in his home with his family when the Army invaded his house, shooting and throwing explosives into his house. He was shot with others and taken away that night. They have demolished his house and it is now a playing field for children in that area.
“He is the one that will lead us if we must appear. Now, how can you keep him in captivity and expect him to prepare his brief and tender evidences? No, we shall not be part of that.
“That is not all. There are members of that Commission that are known haters of the IMN. They have made statements in public against us. We can not expect them to be fair to our side. So, that Commission of Inquiry is not useful to us at all.”