Islamic Movement in Nigeria shouts foul to planned secret trial of leader

By Abdulmumin Giwa

The Islamic Movement in Nigeria has expressed its disagreement with plans by the authorities to try its leader in secret describing it as travesty to justice.

“we are vehemently opposed to conducting the hearings in secret by any guise whatsoever. This case is of enormous interest to both local and international observers. An open trial under the watchful eyes of the world is the least minimum requirement. Local and international press must be granted access to the court.”

This is contained in a statement issued to newsmen by the Movement on Tuesday and signed by president of its Media Forum Ibrahim Musa.

The case in which the Kaduna state government is accusing the Movement’s leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zalazkay and three others of the murder of one Army Corporal Dan Kaduna in December 2015 during a clampdown on members of the movement that left hundreds dead is coming up on 21st of June 2018.

Giving some pointers on the reason why the movement describes the charges as a phoney the statement said, “it will be recalled that it was on the night of 12 December, 2015 that heavily armed soldiers, on the orders of the then Major General Oyebade, went to the residence of the Sheikh with a murderous intent. After a two day shooting spree, they had killed over a thousand men, women and children, including three of the Sheikh’s remaining four sons and his elder sister. The house was torched and subsequently demolished.

“The Sheikh himself and his wife were fatally shot severally, leaving them in the pool of their bloods before they were dragged over the corpses of their children into incommunicado detention.”

The statement called for complete transparency where all stakeholders including national and international media as well as rights organizations will be allowed to witness the trials, “Justice, as it is often said, must not only be done, it must clearly be seen to have been done” the statement added.

In the last court session the counsel representing the Islamic Movement’s leader Barr. Maxwell Kyon made an oral application for the bail of Sheikh Zakzaky who has been in detention with the DSS for over two years now even as the Federal High Court has ordered his unconditional release and compensation. The Judge insisted that the application be made in written.

Whether the Movement leader will be released on bail on Thursday or not remains to be seen in the upcoming case.

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