The much expected taking of evidence from Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) in the case of the horrendous crimes committed by the Nigerian Army in Zaria in December of 2015 before the Presidential Investigation Panel in Abuja has assumed another dimension.
It will be remembered that the Presidential Panel reserved taking of evidence from IMN leader, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky and members concerning the case till the 30th October to 3rd November, 2017 in Abuja. The Panel also decided at its sitting in Kaduna that it would take the testimony of Sheikh Zakzaky in camera, a move that drew a lot of criticism from far and near.
At the resumed sitting which was expected to have started today in Abuja however, it was very unclear whether or not the Sheikh would ever be allowed to make an appearance at all. The lawyers representing the Sheikh and IMN, led by Femi Falana Esq SAN, have been kept in the dark about the details of the hearing. It was later understood that the Panel was yet to get clearance from DSS that it would be given access to the Sheikh at all.
In another development, the lawyers representing the Sheikh have also said they would only appear before the Panel only if they were also given access to their client, the Sheikh to seek his further brief whether he would want to give evidence in camera or not. The lawyers vowed that except if the Sheikh says otherwise, they will not allow any secret hearing of this case.
International human rights organizations and major world mainstream media outfits have been making contacts to find out when and how the IMN and its leader will give testimony at the panel.
It remains to be seen how the government and the panel will wriggle itself out of this quagmire it entangled itself in. As of the time of filing this report, there was no word from the panel. All eyes remain on the panel.
We will keep you informed of any development in this regard.
©#FreeZakzaky Campaign Committee, October 2017