Months after the leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zak Zaky was arrested and detained by the federal government at an undisclosed location, prompting his adherents to incessantly ask for his whereabouts, a counsel of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry (JCI) looking into the case yesterday intimated that the IMN Leader has been sighted in government custody.
The Lead Counsel of the JCI, Yusuf Ali, who disclosed this at the venue of the commission’s sitting in Kaduna, therefore, asked it to postpone its sitting to enable the lawyers of El Zak Zaky also see their clients.
The commission accepted his request.
Ali said he made the request based on the fact on the Monday that his team was allowed to see El Zak Zaky, the IMN’s lead Counsel, Mr Femi Falana, with whom they were to do so together excused himself that he had to travel out of the country to South Africa.
Okoye, along with others, had on Tuesday withdrawn from their representation of the IMN leader, citing the refusal of the JCI to allow them access to him as their reason. But Falana didn’t join them.
Similarly, another defence Counsel, Mr Festus Okoye, told Ali that he couldn’t make it to Abuja for the rendezvous to see their client.
According to Ali, the IMN leader is in good condition of health and the Director of the Department of State Services (DSS) in Kaduna had assured them the IMN counsels could come and see their client next Tuesday.
Biola Oyibanji, the lead Counsel of the Nigerian Army kicked against the adjournment and quest to see El Zak Zaky by his lawyers. He argued that the term of reference given to the JCI didn’t mention the IMN leader in person.
He said the JCI was established to unearth the immediate and remote causes of the Zaria clash between the Shia group alleged to have planned to assassinate the Chief of Army Staff, Gen Tukur Buratai and soldiers of the Nigerian Army.
The commission adjourned its sitting till April 6.