The Islamic Movement in Nigeria ( IMN) has announced the withdrawal of any further participation from the Presidential Investigation Panel on Military Human Right Violations due to “credibility crisis” the panel is facing.
The credibility crisis became manifest when it could not independently handle petition brought to it by the leader of IMN, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky and had to rely on Nigerian authorities and security agencies to determine whether or not the petition by their victim should be entertained, where and how. At the same time, it was eager to take and push through a so-called petition by one Muhammad Ali, a security operative working under cover, even as it is completely out of context with the terms of reference of the panel.
It will be recalled that we reported yesterday that Sheikh Zakzaky had refused giving his testimony in camera. The Panel had been involved in so much somersaults with regards to the petition of the IMN and Sheikh Zakzaky, first openly showing signs of weakness as to whether to accept testimony from the Sheikh or not. Then it said the testimony would be taken in Abuja in camera contrary to the usual open hearing expected of such situations. Even then, it could not take the testimony when it scheduled it because it was waiting for “permission” to do so, and the sitting had to be adjourned. The panel turned around to abruptly bring forward the date of the sitting. Notwithstanding these antics and the fact that the lawyers for the Movement led by Mr. Femi Falana, SAN not allowed access to properly debrief their client, the Sheikh outrightly declined to give testimony in secret, preferring to give an open testimony instead.
IMN had long foreseen that the Panel might suffer credibility issues right from its inception. In an open letter to the then acting President, who inaugurated the Panel, IMN expressed fears that the panel was not structured adequately enough to provide justice. We have been proven right.
The Islamic Movement and the legal team will address the press on this matter in due course.