Shariah council wants Lekwot, others executed over 1992 crisis
Kaduna High Court ruling vindicated us, say Shiites
The Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria (SCSN) has said that government’s failure to execute Gen. Zamani Lekwot (rtd.), the late Maj. James Kude and others sentenced to death for the 1992 Zangon Kataf crisis is responsible for the recurring crises in southern Kaduna.
It, therefore, called on the government to revisit the sentence.
Briefing newsmen yesterday, the Secretary of SCSN, AbdurRahman Hassan, stated that those sentenced to death, but pardoned by the military administration of Gen. Sani Abacha, should be executed in the current dispensation to allow peace to reign in the country.
“We want those pardoned in 1992 during the Zango Kataf crisis to be executed now, because that is the only way peace will return to the area,” Hassan said.
Babangida had set up a tribunal headed by the late Justice Pius Okadigbo to try Lekwot, Kude and other Kataf indigenes on allegation of culpable homicide in bloody crisis in 1992.
Okadigbo sentenced Lekwot, Kude, Yohanna Kibori, Marcus Mamman, Yahaya Duniya and Julius Dabo to death by hanging over complicity in the crisis.
But Lekwot and others were later granted state pardon by Abacha on his assumption of office.
The council argued: “Till now, Zonkwa is still a ghost town. Surprisingly, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Southern Kaduna People’s Union (SOKAPU) and their allies had never cried foul in the massacre of innocent, law-abiding citizens on the account of their faith. Many more ethno-religious crises continued to occur in Kasuwan Magani, Kajuru, Zangon Kataf and some other places.
“After every crisis, a commission of inquiry would be formed, report would be submitted to the government of the day, to no avail.”
MEANWHILE, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) has said that the judgment by the Kaduna State High Court, which discharged 12 of its members, vindicated the Islamic sect.
IMN, while commending the judgment upholding a “no case” submission on the criminal case filed against the Shiites, said: “Kaduna State government has again failed in court after a fair trial.”
The spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said: “On Friday, July 24, 2020, the Kaduna State High Court presided over by Hon. Justice Mairo Mohammed, again delivered a favourable judgment in the ‘no case submission’ filed by the defence lawyers on the suit against 12 members of IMN, who allegedly committed offences of criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, and being members of unlawful society.”
According to him, the judgment has not only vindicated the members of IMN, “but it is certainly a victory for perseverance in the face of extreme persecution. It is a victory for truth and justice against tyranny and impunity.”