As the hearing continues between the members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) and the Federal Government continued in a Kaduna High Court before Justice David Shiri Nyom on Tuesday, two witnesses from the Army contradicted themselves while being cross examined by the defence counsel.
One of the witnesses, Brigadier General A.K. Ibrahim, contradicted himself on the time that he arrived Zaria on December 12, 2015. At first when he was cross examined by the Prosecuting Counsel, led by the Kaduna State Director of Public Prosecution (DPP), Bayero Dari.
He told the court he arrived Zaria at about 5:30pm but under cross examination from lead defence Counsel, Barrister Festus Okoye, he denied saying he arrived by 5:30pm, and stood on his grounds that it was by 6pm he arrived.
It took the Judge’s record which he read out to the court to prove the contradiction as the arrival time recorded was 5:30pm.
Another witness, Lieutenant Colonel Ali had in a statement made during the panel of inquiry after the incident omitted saying that the Army lost any soldier during the development in Zaria, but when in the witness box, told the court that a soldier allegedly died from attacks from Shiite mob.
Barrister Okoye while cross examining him, also pointed out differences in dates when the Army handed over weapons allegedly recovered from Shiites between December 12 and 14, 2015 in Zaria.
Lieutenant Colonel Ali had during his testimony, informed that weapons recovered were handed over to Police investigators on December 13, 2015, contrary to Okoye’s submission that the weapons were handed over on February 9, 2016.
Lieutenant Col Ali however, stated that he would not be surprised that weapons handed over on the later date were different from the ones he was referring to.
Speaking to newsmen outside the court, Kaduna DPP, Dari, said that he was happy with the way the case was progressing.
“Today was a good day in court for the prosecution. The Army witnesses came to testify and the case has taken new shape,” he said.
When asked to comment on the contradiction recorded from witnesses that appeared, he said that contradictions were classified into material and non material, describing what occurred as falling into the latter classification.
“The will look at the material evidences when the time comes,” he added.
Also responding when fielding questions, Barrister Okoye said that the prosecution are still yet to make a case.
“As far as we are concerned, the accused remain innocent until proven guilty. The prosecution has failed to make a case against the accused. It’s the judge that has the final say,” he added.
Barrister Okoye was accompanied to the court by Barrister Maxwell Kyon and three other learned colleagues.
The case was adjourned to August 8 and 9, when other witnesses are expected to testify.