The Islamic Movement of Nigeria, the shi’a group that clashed with personnel of the Nigerian Army in December 2015, in Zaria, Kaduna State, has declined to appear before the panel of inquiry set up to investigate the immediate and remote causes of the fracas that left scores dead.
Chaired by Justice Muhammadu Lawal Garba, the 13-man panel set up by the Kaduna State Government held its proceedings on Monday at the Hassan Katsina State House, Kaduna.
However, the panel could not proceed on the business of the day as it learnt that the Shi’ites would not be represented.
The group, had in a letter forwarded to the commission requested that they should be exempted from the inquiry as they would not attend it unless they can confirm the whereabouts of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, who alone had the authority to give them the order to attend it.
Justice Garba then adjourned the sitting till Wednesday, February 24, stating the absence of one of the parties involved as the reason for his decision.
On the other hand, the Army team was led by the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division, Major General Adeniyi Oyebade.
Justice Garba also told the lawyer to the commission, Yusuf Ali (SAN) to find out El Zakzaky’s whereabouts and report to the commission within 24 hours.
He said it was required by law for every party in the clash to be present at every sitting of the inquiry.