It was mild drama today in Kaduna state High Court being presided by Justice Gwada in the continuation of trial in the case of culpable how leveled against close to a hundred members of the Islamic Movement arrested about three years back during the Zaria massacre, as the Chief Investigating Police Officer tried to deny a previous evidence he gave in a similar case earlier.
At the resumption of hearing today, the prosecutor, Barr Bayero Dari had told the court that he is prepared to present one of his witnesses, one Assistant Commissioner of Police, who was the Chief Investigating Police Officer in the case.
Having been led in evidence by Barr Bayero, he tendered statements of eight of those standing trial, and same were accepted and variously marked as exhibits.
It was however in the course of cross examination by the defense counsel that the drama ensued. Having agreed that all he did was to receive statements from the policemen he had earlier assigned to investigate and did not further make any efforts to acertain the veracity, he also agreed that at the time of the events that led to the arrests of all those standing trial, policemen were not at the vicinity of the fracas. Everything was done by the military and all he knew about what happened was what he was told by the military.
When he was asked, “the military men who told you about the crisis also told you that Corporal Dan Kaduna died as a result of friendly fire, right?” The Chief IPO said he doesn’t remember.
Barr Maxwell Kyon, who led the defense then asked him if he remembers he had testified in a similar case in Court 4 of the same High court at an earlier date? He said he did.
At that point, Barr Maxwell presented a certified true copy of the court proceedings of the case that was presided by Justice Nyoms and that was taken and labeled as exhibit.
Maxwell then referred him to pages 117 to 125 of the exhibit and asked him to closely examine it to be sure it was the evidence he gave before Justice Nyoms. He said it was.
At that point, Barr Maxwell asked him to read from page 124. He read that the soldiers who brought the case had told him that Corporal Dan Kaduna had died as a result of “friendly fire.” He was then asked whether he now remembered, and he answered in the affirmative.
The Prosecutor, Bayero tried to re-examine the Chief IPO asking him what is meant by “friendly fire. However, Barr Maxwell stood resolutely in opposition, maintening that it didn’t matter what his understanding of the term was, since it was exactly what he was told. Bayero had to withdraw his re-examination. It therefore stood that Corporal Dan Kaduna had died as a result of friendly fire.
The case was adjourned to February 22, 2019 for the prosecution to conclude presentation of their remaining witnesses.