Zakzaky’s lawyers withdraw appearance before Commission of Inquiry, berate FG and DSS

Posted by News Express | 23 March 2016 | 4,011 times

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The team of lawyers representing the Islamic Movement in Nigeria before the Commission of Inquiry have withdrawn their appearance before the Commission.

Addressing reporters on Tuesday, a member of the legal team, Festus Okoye, said that their inability to have access to their client and leader of the movement, Sheik Ibraheem El- Zakzaky in detention, informed their reason to discontinue their appearance before the Commission.

He explained the frustration they had encountered in their effort to have access to El-Zakzaky, who is currently being detained by the Department of State Services (DSS) in Abuja.

Mr Okoye said that all attempts made severally to meet with their client in order to get briefing from him was frustrated by the Police and DSS in spite of the assurances given to them earlier to meet with him.

While condemning the action of the DSS and Federal Government, the lawyer pointed out that the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky and his wife without charging them to court, violates their fundamental rights to fair hearing and justice.

According to Mr Okoye, the legal team representing the Movement would not participate in a pre-determined position and agenda against their client and the group and neither will they continue to represent a client, whose whereabouts are shrouded in secrecy.

On her part, one of the daughters of El-Zakzaky condemned the continuous detention of her parents and other members of the Movement.

Mrs Suhaila Ibraheem expressed dismay that the DSS could still arrest and detain her parents after soldiers unjustly shot and killed several members of the Movement at their residence in Zaria.

At another press conference, members of the Islamic Movement said that they had petitioned the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, over the continuous detention of El-Zakzaky by the DSS as well as other members currently in various detention facilities across the country.

The members, through their spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, noted that by the continuous detention of their leader and other members, the Nigerian government had waged an open war on the Movement and its leadership with the intent to exterminate them.

With barely a week left for the Commission of Inquiry to conclude its assignment, the Shiites are insisting that until they have access to their leader in order to ascertain his true state of health, they will not appear before the Commission.

This is in view that he is the custodian of the property and activities of the Movement and only him can give the express permission for them to appear.

The Commission of Inquiry was set up by the Kaduna State Government to investigate the violent clash between the group and soldiers in Zaria on December 12, 2015. (Channels TV)

•Photo courtesy of Daily Trust shows, from right; Barristers Festus Okoye, Maxwell Kyar and Haruna Magashi, at a press briefing organised by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria’s legal team to announce their withdrawal from the Commission of Inquiry sitting in Kaduna over their inability to see the movement’s leader, Sheikh El-Zakzaky.

Source: News Express

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