Prominent lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), Mr. Festus Okoye, Mr. Maxwell Kyon and others have formally withdrawn from representing Islamic Movement in Nigeria(IMN) at the ongoing Judicial Commission of Inquiry(JCI) into the Army/Shiite clash, saying they would not allow themselves to be used for a pre-determined position against IMN.
Okoye, who spoke on behalf of the leader of the team, Femi Falana, said it was completely unethical for the team to continue to represent a client whose well-being or state of health was unknown and held incommunicado since December 2015. In his words: “We have been patient enough since the beginning of the commission’s sitting as regards to the matter. All efforts to have access to the El-Zakzaky have been in vain and we have no option than to withdraw from the commission.
“The legal team of the IMN will not be used and will not allow itself to be used to legitimise a pre-determined position and agenda against the leader of IMN. The legal team has resolved that in the light of the realities of lack of access, briefing and representation for the movement, the most honourable thing to do is withdraw completely from appearance before the commission in whatever form and manner and cease any form of representation in whatever form or manner for the movement.”
In another development, Shuhaila Zakzaky, one of the daughters of detained leader of IMN, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky, yesterday, spoke at a briefing in Kaduna, on the tragedy that befell IMN in its December 12, 2015 clash with Army in Zaria.The 23-year-old Shuhaila, who is a student of Engineering Architecture from a Malaysian university, said: “Around 10p.m. on that day, we heard gunshots from afar. It turned out that the military were shooting at people and advancing towards the house. We spent the whole night with the shooting going on. We were told that people were being killed. When people were saying the early morning prayers, the Army got the opportunity to knock down the fence, entered the house and started shooting. They killed as many people as they could find and burnt others alive.We were in a part of the house that was not burnt down, but I assumed they thought everyone was burnt or dead. So they really did not search.
“We spent the day with shooting going on from afar. There was fire all over the place. “Then we spent the next night likewise. In the morning they (Army) came back. When they got to where myself, my father, my brothers and other members of the family were, they took shooting position and started shooting at us randomly for some seconds. My father, mother and three brothers and some of the people that were around us were shot dead.
“They eventually took us away. Myself, my sisters and those that were with us were beaten thoroughly and taken to the Army depot in Zaria by trucks. Since then I have not had any contact with my parents or anyone taken away. We were kept at the depot for four days. “It is not easy to say how I have been coping. But I want to say thanks to Allah subuhana lahi tala; we are coping. We are waiting for justice. We hope that we find that.”