Femi Falana, a senior advocate of Nigeria who is lead counsel of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, has called on the Kaduna State government to begin the process of prosecuting the Nigerian soldiers who carried out a genocide in against largest Muslim Shi’ite sect in Nigeria in December 2015.
“Although the secretary to the Kaduna State government, Alhaji Lawal Balarabe Abbas has since confirmed the gruesome massacre of the 347 people by the army, you have refused to prosecute the criminal elements who perpetrated the crime and proceeded to bury their dead bodies in a mass grave in a country which loudly proclaims to operate under the rule of law,” Falana said in a letter addressed to the state’s commissioner for justice and attorney general.
Falana gave the state government an ultimatum to charge the Nigerian soldiers with conspiracy, willful damage to property, arson and culpable homicide not later than July 31, 2016 or he would begin a process to bring them to justice.
“Take note if you fail to accede to our clients’ demand we shall not hesitate to apply to the High Court of Kaduna State for an order of mandamus to compel you to discharge your constitutional duty by charging the indicted culprits to court in line with your oath of office to “do right to all manners of people according to law, without fear or favour, affection or ill-will,” Falana said.
“Notwithstanding the fact that the commission had invited Sheik Zakzaky to testify on behalf of the IMN, he was prevented from doing so by the State Security Service which has held him in custody since December 14, 2015; thus, the Commission was only permitted to take evidence from the aggressors and others who have axe to grind with the IMN.
“Out of sheer contempt for the judicial commission, the Kaduna State government has filed charges of conspiracy and culpable homicide against over 250 members of the IMN at the Kaduna State high court. The suspects who are alleged to have caused the death of one Corporal Yakubu Dankaduna during the military invasion are languishing in prison custody while awaiting the legal advice of the Kaduna State director of public prosecution.
“Although the secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Alhaji Lawal Balarabe Abbas has since confirmed the gruesome massacre of the 347 people by the army, you have refused to prosecute the criminal elements who perpetrated the crime and proceeded to bury their dead bodies in a mass grave in a country which loudly proclaims to operate under the rule of law,” Falana’s statement issued over the weekend said.
The judicial commission of inquiry set up by the government to investigate the Zaria Massacre in which the Shi’ites say about 1,000 of its members were killed by Nigerian troops submitted its report on Friday, July 15, 2015. It was classified as top secret.
The leader of the Shi’ite sect, Ibrahim El Zakzakky was shot several times in home, disrobed, and wheeled away by Nigerian troops during the murderous raid on his compound.