A human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), in a statement titled, ‘Armed soldiers who attacked Sheik Ibrahim El-Zakzaki should be prosecuted,’ has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and other soldiers, who took part in the violent attack and arson in Zaria, Kaduna State, in which scores of members of the Shi’ite movement were killed, were prosecuted.
Falana, while citing the 1996 case between the late Chief Gani Fawehinmi and the late Gen. Sani Abacha, where the Court of Appeal had ordered the Attorney-General of the Federation, the Inspector-General of Police and the operatives of the Department of State Services to allow the late Fawehinmi’s wife and personal physicians to have access to him in prison “at all reasonable times.” implored the Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase, to allow detainees arrested with respect to the December 13 clash between the army and the Shi’ites have access to their family members, doctors and lawyers.
Falana said, “In requesting the Inspector-General of Police to allow access to the detainees, his attention ought to be drawn to Section 14(2) of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act which provides as follows:
“A person who has the custody of an arrested suspect shall give the suspect reasonable facilities for obtaining legal advice, access to communication for taking steps to furnish bail, and otherwise making arrangements for his defence or release.
“In the light of the foregoing, we urge the police boss to allow the detainees access to their family members, personal physicians and legal practitioners at all reasonable times. Having undertaken to end impunity in the country, President Buhari should ensure that the Chief of Army Staff and all the soldiers who took part in the violent attack and arson in Zaria are brought to book without any further delay.”