Barely 48 hours after the Commision of Inquiry into Army/Shiites clash submitted its report to Governor Nasir El-Rufai, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Femi Falana has demanded for the prosecution of military officers and soldiers who engaged in the killings of 347 Shi’ites in Zaria on December 12- 14, 2015 following the clash.
Falana, a leading solicitor to the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) headed by Sheik Ibraheem Zakzaky, said the leader had been detained without trial for about eight months.
“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 in a letter he wrote to the Kaduna State Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, and which was made available to newsmen in Kaduna.
The letter further stated: “The Federal Government was embarrassed by the unlawful killing of the 34 members of the IMN by the army. In the circumstances, the National Human Rights Commission expressed condolence and tendered a public apology to the bereaved families on behalf of the Federal Government.
“But despite the official apology, the Kaduna State government did not prosecute the suspects who perpetrated the unlawful killing. At the material time, Mr. Nasir El Rufai publicly condemned the brutal killing and paid a condolence visit to the IMN leader in his residence.
“In the light of the foregoing, we have the instructions of our clients to request you to prosecute the members of the Nigerian Army who took the law into their hands by unleashing mayhem on unarmed civilians in Zaria, Kaduna State from December 12-14, 2015. Specifically, you are requested to charge the suspects with conspiracy, willful damage to property, arson and culpable homicide not later than July 31, 2016.”