The Shi’ite Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN) announced that it would not appear before a Judicial Commission of Inquiry led by the Kaduna State government, investigating the killing of hundreds of Shi’ites, until the group’s leader, Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, is released unconditionally.

Shiite leader Ibrahim El-ZakZaky being wheeled by soldiers in a barrow after he was shot in the shoulder and eyes

On December 12 and 13, 2015, the Nigerian army rampaged against members of the IMN in Zaria, Kaduna State resulting in the deaths of at least 300 Shi’ites according to Human Rights Watch. Sheikh Zakzaky was subsequently detained by the Nigerian army and endured serious injuries.

The military claimed that IMN members set up a roadblock in an effort to trap and assassinate Army Chief of Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai. However, the IMN said that the group was merely staging a peaceful protest.

The chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, Lawal Muhammad, adjourned the sitting until March 7 and said that Sheikh Zakzazy will be present for it. 

The IMN also called for the restructuring of the panel, arguing that their group is not being fairly represented. 

IMN member Abdulhamid Bello said, “The movement declined to participate and have any further dealings with the Judicial Commission of Inquiry and would consult and direct its lawyers on the next course of action in search of justice in this matter.”

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