The Shi’ite movement in Nigeria on Monday said it would not appear before a Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by Kaduna State government to investigate the killing of the group’s members, until its leader, Ibrahim El-zakzaky, is released unconditionally.
A clash between members of the movement and the Nigerian Army on December 12 and 13 left hundreds of Shiites dead. The clash occurred when the convoy of the country’s Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, was denied passage through the city of Zaria in Kaduna State.
In December, the movement released a list of more than 700 people it claimed were either missing or dead in the December clash.
The group had cited lopsidedness in the composition of the panel and failure to release the leader of the movement, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and other detainees and some of the reasons it is boycotting the panel sittings.
The chairman of the commission of inquiry, Lawal Muhammad, on Monday, adjourned the sitting till March 7 for Mr. El-Zakzaky to appear before it.
Speaking at a press briefing, a member of the movement, Abdulhamid Bello, argued that Mr. El-Zakzaky should not be held incommunicado while the commission was sitting.
The group further called for the re-constitution of the panel, saying Kaduna State government, being an “aggressor in the incident”, should not deny the movement representation in the commission.
“The movement declined to participate and have any further dealings with the judicial commission of inquiry and would consult and direct its lawyers on the next course of action in search of justice in this matter,” he added.