Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has called on Nasir el-Rufai, governor of Kaduna state, to prosecute those behind the killings of 347 members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), otherwise known as Shiites.
(AhlulBayt News Agency) - In a statement issued on Thursday, the lawyer wondered why the Kaduna state government had not implemented the recommendation of the panel of inquiry that it mandated to investigate the issue.
Some soldiers rushed to the people in Zaria, Kaduna, in December 2015, killed many of them, and Ibrahim Zakzaky, leader of the organisation, was subsequently arrested.
The Kaduna government later set up a panel to investigate the incident.
Speaking when he appeared before the panel, Namadi Musa, Kaduna state director-general of Interfaith agency, narrated how 347 Shiites were allegedly buried within five hours.
Falana expressed concern that the appropriate action had not been taken on the issue, and that government had refused to obey court orders to not only release Sheihk Zakzaky, but provide accommodation for him since his houses had been demolished by the authorities.
“The Kaduna State government has refused to prosecute the soldiers who killed the 347 Shiites as recommended by the judicial commission of inquiry which it had set up,” the statement read.
“The Kaduna state government aided and abetted the army in the secret burial of the bodies of the slain Shiites in a mass grave in Mango village, near Zaria.
“As if those atrocities were not enough, the Kaduna state government proceeded to demolish the houses of the Shiites leader, Sheihk Ibraheem Elzakzaky. Apart from witnessing the gruesome murder of three of their children, Elzakzaky and his wife who were subjected to horrendous brutalisation from the troops have been detained without trial since December 14, 2015.
“Having lost his right eye Elzakzaky has applied to seek medical treatment abroad. But the request has been rejected by the State Security Service. In a grand display of impunity the order of the federal high court that the couple be released from detention and be provided with accommodation by the government which has rendered them homeless has been treated with disdain.”
Falana also wondered why President Muhammadu Buhari had not ordered the army authorities to court martial the soldiers involved in the killings.
“In the same vein the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, President Buhari has refused to direct the army authorities to constitute a court-martial for the trial of the military officers who issued the illegal order for the genocidal acts,” he said.
He commended the national peace committee led by Abdulsalami Abubakar, former head of state, for the efforts to restore peace in southern Kaduna.
However, he said the state government should be told that without justice, peace will continue to elude the Kaduna.