Shiite-Army Clash, Panel Submits Report.


John Shiklam in Kaduna

The judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna state government to investigate the December 12-14 Zaria clashes between the Nigerian Army and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shi’ites, has submitted its report.

Submitting the report to the state governor, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday at Government House, Kaduna, chairman of the commission, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, said  the failure of the  IMN not to appear before the panel resulted in the prolonged adjournments of the committee, leading to the request for extension of time to complete the assignment.
“We started our first public sitting in February
2015, about three or four weeks after the inauguration because of our pledge
to provide adequate a reasonable opportunity that is fair and just particularly to parties that are directly involved in the incident.

“They (IMN) had appeared, they were
represented by counsels at the initial stage of the proceedings, but for no reason known to the commission, the counsels decided to opt out.

“I said for no reason known to the commission because there was no formal communication to the commission on why they decided not to continue their appearance before the commission.

“However, there were newspapers and online publications that they did not want to appear. Because of that we had to apply for extension of time and at the end of the day we have been able to produce a report of the commission’s assignment,” Garba said.

He commended the contributions of members of the public within and outside Kaduna state, some of who, he said, did not only sent memos to the commission, but traveled to come and appear before the commission.

Garba disclosed that more than 3,500 memos were received during the proceedings, adding that the memos were  compiled and   annexed to the report.

In his remarks, El-Rufai thanked members of the panel assuring that the report will be diligently studied to ensure that the lessons are properly digested.