Monday, April 21, 2014

Nigerian Police yet to start investigation two months after two Nasarawa University students were killed

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The Nasarawa Police said they are waiting for the findings by a special commission set up the state government.

Two months after at least two students of Nassarawa State University, Keffi, were shot dead allegedly by soldiers, the Nigeria Police is yet to commence an investigation into the killings.

The students were shot during a protest against bad welfare conditions in the school. They were allegedly shot by soldiers on the streets of Keffi during the protest. Though initial reports say four students were killed, the police later said two students were killed during the protest; but denied that its officers were responsible for the killings.

The Nasarawa State Police Command had said after the killings that it had commenced investigations.

“The University shooting is still under investigation and once we are done with the investigation we will make the findings public,” Michael Ada, the Nasarawa Police spokesperson said, on February 26, a day after the killings

Two months after, however, Mr. Ada said the police was yet to really begin its investigations as it was waiting for the state government to conclude its investigations.

“You know police investigation is a continuous process and we cannot work in isolation. A commission of inquiry was set up by the state government,” Mr. Ada told PREMIUM TIMES. “So we are actually waiting for them to be done with their inquiries and then issue out their recommendations.”

State concludes investigations

When PREMIUM TIMES contacted the Nasarawa Government, the governor’s spokesperson said its investigations had just been concluded and the report was being studied.

Illyasu Yakubu, the Director of Press to Tanko Almakura, the Nasarawa State Governor, said the commission of enquiry handed-in its report on Tuesday and it will take the state government one week to study the report.

“Yes, a commission of enquiry was set up by the Nasarawa State government on the students killing and the reports by the commission was just submitted today (Tuesday).

“It will take the state government one week to study the report submitted, look at the recommendations made and then know the way forward,” Mr. Yakubu said.

House yet to conclude investigations

Also, a day after the killings, the House of Representatives asked its committees on Army, Internal Security and Police Affairs to undertake a thorough investigation into the shooting and report to the House within two weeks.

Almost two months after, the committee is yet to conclude any investigations.

Zakari Mohammed, the House spokesperson, gave an excuse for the non-conclusion of the investigations saying the lawmakers went on recess immediately after the committee was mandated.

“A committee was set up immediately after the House agreed on carrying out an investigation on the Keffi students killing. What happened was that the House went on a recess immediately after the committee was set up.

“So, it will be impossible for me to give you any report now but I believe that in a few weeks’ time reports on the investigation will be made available to you,” Mr. Mohammed told PREMIUM TIMES.

The University authorities would also not comment on any internal investigations it carried out. It’s Vice Chancellor, Shamsudeen Amali, had claimed after the killings that the students protest was hijacked by hoodlums.

The Registrar of the University, Dalhatu Mamman, however, declined further comments to PREMIUM TIMES on the phone.

The Nigerian Army, which was accused of the killings, would also not comment on whether it was carrying out any investigations to determine the actual culpability of its officers.

The Army spokesperson, Ibrahim Attahiru, who had initially denied that soldiers were involved in the killings, did not pick or return calls made to his phone.

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