Army/Shiites Clash : El-Rufai Sets Up 9-Man Committee To Examine Report

Nasir-El-RufaiGovernor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has set up a nine -man committee to produce a white paper on the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 12, 2015 clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

In a statement released by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, the Governor said that the committee is mandated to examine the report of the commission, and also make any other recommendation that would assist government in addressing issues raised in the report for implementation.

The Committee, which is headed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Adamu Mansur, also has the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries of Environment and Natural Resources, Works, Housing and Transport, Local Government, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services as members.

It has two weeks to submit its report.

The Commission had submitted its final report to Mr El-Rufai last week.

The report was submitted to the Governor at Government House, Kaduna by the Chairman of the Commission, Justice Mohammed Garba.

Mr Garba said that the panel received over 3,000 memoranda from different groups and individuals both within and outside the state.

Lack Of Access To Shiites’ Leader El-zakzaky Stalls Enquiry

Army-Shiite-clash
The clash between the Nigerian Army and the Shiites left several property destroyed

The inability of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and their lawyers to have access to their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El- zakzaky, detained by the Department for State Security Service, has again stalled the proceedings of the Commission of Enquiry.

The commission is investigating the December 12 clash between the group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

At its resumed sitting on Monday, Counsel to the commission, Yunusa Ustaz, said that all attempts made so far by him and counsels to the movement through the offices of the Attorney General of the Federal and that of Kaduna State to meet with Sheik El-Zakzaky where he is being detained in Abuja were unsuccessful.

Mr Ustaz said the tight schedule of the Attorney General of the Federation made the desired meeting with El- zakzaky difficult.

He pleaded for more time in order to enable them have access to El-Zakzaky before the next adjourned date.

However, counsel to the Shiites, raised concerns over the busy schedule of the Attorney General of the Federation, saying he could easily assign such responsibilities to another top official in the ministry of justice.

Since the commission commenced sitting on February 22, members of the Islamic Movement have refused to submit their memorandum to the commission on the ground that they must be allowed to see their leader before they would do so.

In order to give all parties fair hearing, the chairman of the commission, Justice Mohammed Garba, had during the last sitting mandated both the Attorney General of the Federation and that of Kaduna State to facilitate the access to Sheik El-zazaky with his lawyers and some of his members.

Before ruling on the submissions made by both Mr Ustaz and the counsel to Shiites, Maxwell Kyon, members of the commission held a closed-door meeting for over two hours to enable them reach a decision on the submissions made by both counsels.

While the meeting lasted, the General Officer Commanding One Division, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade, who is representing the Nigerian Army along with some senior officers, and journalists waited patiently.

At the end of the closed door meeting, Justice Garba in his ruling granted the request by counsel to the commission for more time to enable them have access to leader of the Shiites.

He, however, adjourned sitting till Monday, March 21, for hearing where the army and other interested parties are expected to make their presentations.

The commission has so far spent four out of the six weeks given to it by the Kaduna State government to complete its assignment.

It is hoped that by the next adjourned date, the Islamic Movement In Nigeria would have met with their leader to enable them file their submissions.

Army/ Shiites Clash: Zakzaky’s Absence Stalls Sitting

kaduna-ShiitesThe proceedings in the second day sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry investigating the December 12, 2015 violent clash between the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and the Nigerian Army, has been stalled.

The proceeding was stalled as a results of the inability of the counsel to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to get access to the leader of the movement, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.

During the resumed sitting on Wednesday, Counsel to the Shiites, Maxwell Kyon, who appeared before the Commission, pleaded for two weeks adjournment to enable him get access to his client, who is currently in the custody of the Department of State Security (DSS).

While the counsel to the Nigerian Army, Abba Audu, did not oppose the appeal.

Lawyer to the Commission, Yunus Ustaz (SAN), objected to the prayer, stating that the two weeks request is too long taking into cognizance that the Commission has a limited time to conclude its sitting.

In his ruling, Chairman of the Commission, Justice Mohammed Garba, refused to grant the request for a two weeks adjournment on the grounds that the Commission has only six weeks to conclude its assignment and submit its report to the Kaduna State Government.

He, however, granted the Shiites’ counsel five days to get access to his client within which to report back to the Commission on whether or not he has had access to his client.

He, therefore, adjourned sitting till Monday, February 29, 2016.

Reacting to the ruling, Counsel to the Shiites, noted that the group may likely file their own memorandum to the Commission as soon as they have access to their leader, who has been in detention since December 2015.

Shiite Members Shun Judicial Commission Of Inquiry’s Sitting

kaduna-ShiiteMembers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria on Monday shunned the inaugural sitting of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 12, 2015, violent clash between the group and the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna State.

At the commencement of the public sitting at the General Hassan Usman Katsina House in the State capital, venue of the public hearing, as early as 9 O’clock in the morning and waited for about an hour without seeing members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria. They did not send any representative or apology.

Members of the commission arrived at the General Hassan Usman Katsina House, venue of the public hearing as early as 9 O’clock in the morning and waited for about an hour without seeing members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria or their lawyers.

Their absence may be unconnected with their demand for the release of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaky and over 700 of their members, who were taken into custody by security operatives days after the incident.

But the Nigerian Army was represented at the sitting by the General Officer Commanding One division, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade.

The absence of the Shiite members compelled the commission to adjourn till Wednesday, February 4 in expectation that counsel to the commission, Yusuf Ali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, would ascertain the whereabouts of Sheik El-Zakzaky and report back to the commission by the next sitting.

Some lawyers representing various interests at the panel asked the commission to ensure that all parties involved in the matter were adequately represented in order to give each of them a fair hearing, but the commission’s chairman, Justice Mohammed Garba, insisted that they had notified all parties involved about the sitting and therefore, does not have the powers to give an open invitation to any individual or group.

The commission’s chairman also announced that a total of 105 memoranda had been received from members of the public.

He reassured the sitting that the commission would conduct an unbiased investigation and recommend necessary action that would be fair to all parties involved.

Mr Garba also asked the Nigerian Army to ensure it was represented during all the sittings of the commission.

The commission, which has 13 terms of reference, will inquire into the immediate and remote causes of the clashes, and thereafter make recommendations to the state government.

Army/Shiites Clash: El-Rufai Inaugurates Commission Of Inquiry

El-RufaiThe Kaduna State Governor has inaugurated the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) into the clash between Shiite members and the Nigerian Army.

At the Inauguration ceremony on Friday, Governor Nasir El-Rufai asked the members to be fair and just to every party involved as required by the constitution and the Rules of Natural Justice.

According to Mr El-Rufai, the JCI’s assignment is to determine the immediate causes of the clash, examine the historical circumstances and contributory factors and to ascertain the number of persons killed, wounded or missing during the clashes.

The Governor added that it would also identify actions and omissions of relevant persons, traditional and religious institutions, Federal and State actors and emergency response agencies before, during and after the clashes among others.

He also dismissed the insinuations in some quarters that only the Federal Government has the power to establish the JCI. He said that under the 1999 Constitution, only state governments can institute Judicial Commissions of Inquiry in their states.

Governor El-Rufai said that the report and recommendation of the commission would enable the Kaduna State government and the general public to understand the historical background of what led to the incident and how it can be averted in the future.

In their response, the Chairman of the JCI, Justice Mohammed Garba, assured the Governor that the panel would do a thorough job without fear or favour.

Meanwhile, the spokesman of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria popularly known as Shiites Movement, Ibrahim Musa, insists that they would not appear before the commission, because they do not have confidence in the composition of the panel.

The 13-member panel, which has six weeks to submit its report, has the former United Nations permanent representative, Professor Ibrahim Gambari, Salisu Shehu, Professor Umar Labdo, Professor Auwalu Yadudu, Mr Afakriya Gadzama, Major General Alexander Mshelbwala (Rtd) among others as members.