Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), counsel to detained leader of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria(IMN) on Wednesday withdrew the petition against the Nigerian Army at the Presidential Investigation Panel on Human Right Violations.
Falana said although it was painful, he had to withdrew the petition in view of the fact that there was already a judicial commission of inquiry, currently handling the case.
He, however, said that the panel could on its own, decide to listen to any witness in the case, and urged the panel to keep the petition in view.
Falana also urged the panel to issue an order directing the Federal Government to comply with the ruling of the Federal High Court that ordered for the release of El-Zakzaky from detention.
He berated the Federal Government for not obeying the ruling of the Federal High Court on El-Zakzaky, adding that since Nigeria’s independence, he had never seen a couple detained together.
He said that the couple should be released based on the premise that the country was operating the rule of law, adding that it was painful he could not put the petition through.
“We are already taking other steps to ensure that El-Zakzaky is released, because this is the first time in the history of this country that a couple will be detained,” he said.
Prof. Akinseye George, (SAN), counsel to the Nigerian Army said that the matter should be expunged from the panel list.
He said that the panel was magnanimous enough to accommodate the petition by shifting dates and time for the petitioner.
He said that the panel should disregard the petitioner’s plea that the petition be kept in view, stressing that the petition ended with the withdrawal.
Justice Biobele George, chairman of the panel, struck out the petition based on voluntary withdrawal by the petitioner.
The Presidential Investigation Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement sittings ended on Wednesday.
The panel had traveled round the six geo-political zones to receive petitions and listen to petitioners’ allegations of human rights violation by the military.