Zaria Massacre: El-Rufai names members of Judicial Commission of Inquiry

Shi'ite procession from Kaduna to Zaria

The Kaduna State Government has announced the composition of a Judicial Commission of Inquiry into last month’s clash in Zaria between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army.

Human Rights Watch said at least 300 members of the Shi’a group were massacred by the Nigerian military, which claimed the sect members made an attempt on the live of its army chief, Tukur Buratai.

President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to comment on or probe the killings, saying he was awaiting the outcome of investigation by Kaduna government.

But at a media chat December 30, Mr. Buhari said the Shi’a group constituted a “state within a state”.

In a statement Saturday, signed by his spokesman, Samuel Aruwan, Gov. El-Rufai said members of the commission would be inaugurated next week.

Full statement:

The judicial commission of inquiry is established under Section 2 of the Kaduna State Commission of Inquiry Law, 1991.

“Malam Nasir El-Rufai, the Governor of Kaduna State, has signed the instrument establishing the commission of inquiry. The inquiry, which is expected to submit its final report six weeks after its first public sitting, has several terms of inquiry. These include to determine the immediate causes of the clashes, examine the historical circumstances and contributory factors of the clashes and to ascertain the number of persons killed, wounded or missing during the clashes. The commission of inquiry will also identify the actions of persons, institutions, federal and state actors, and determine whether such actions were necessary, appropriate and sufficient in the circumstances in which they occurred.

“In a state-wide broadcast last month, Governor El-Rufai had promised to establish a judicial commission of inquiry into the Zaria clashes, as a matter of utmost importance to the public interest. During the broadcast, the governor regretted the loss of lives and detailed what the Kaduna State Government had learnt about the immediate build-up to the clashes. The government also took steps to begin the prosecution of the people that were arrested during the clashes for crimes, including obstruction of public highways and possession of dangerous weapons. The women and juveniles among the detainees were swiftly processed and released.

“Furthermore, the Kaduna State Government acted to ensure that the sites of the clashes did not constitute sources of public peril after the army withdrew from them. Glass shards, twisted metal and concrete were cleared from the sites and the buildings that were considered structurally unsound following the clashes were removed. In the process of clearing the sites of the clashes, three persons were rescued from the rubble.

“Since the unfortunate incident, the Kaduna State Government has been discharging its obligations to promote the public welfare. There was no reason at any point to put governance in abeyance or to abdicate the responsibility of the government to enforce the law and uphold security. Neither was it necessary for the Kaduna State Government to speak and act as if it was not in possession of any facts relevant to the matter. Government has to acknowledge as much when a building has been put up without evidence of title or the necessary planning approvals; and the state has to initiate prosecutions when valid laws have been broken. It is not in the public interest for government to decline its duty.

“The members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria clashes were chosen for their professional competences as lawyers, jurists, scholars of religion, human rights activists, security experts and media practitioners.

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry, which will be inaugurated next week, has the following membership:

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba – Chairman.
Justice Garba is the presiding justice of the Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal.

Prof. Salihu Shehu -Commissioner. Professor Shehu lectures at the Bayero University, Kano.

Prof. Umar Labdo – Commissioner. Professor Labdo teaches in the Faculty of Humanities, Northwest University, Kano.

Malam Salihu Abubakar – Commissioner. Malam Abubakar is a former director of the National Agricultural Extension and Research Liaison Services (NAERLS), Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.

Prof. Auwalu Yadudu – Commissioner. He is an accomplished professor of Law, and former Special Adviser on Legal Matters during the Abacha government.

Prof. Ibrahim Gambari – Commissioner. Professor Gambari is a former minister of Foreign Affairs. He was also Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations, and headed the UN department of Political Affairs. He is often consulted on African Affairs, Peacekeeping and Global Security.

Mr. Afakriya Gadzama – Commissioner. Mr. Gadzama, a career intelligence professional, is a former Director-General of the Department of State Services, where he served in various positions, including as Kaduna State director of the agency.

Brigadier-General Aminun-Kano Maude (rtd) – Commissioner. General Maude is a retired Deputy Director, Army Finance and Accounts. He holds a Ph.D in Accountancy.

Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim
– Commissioner. Dr. Ibrahim is a well-known academic, civil society leader and columnist. He taught politics at the Ahmadu Bello University, and has researched and written about religion.

Mrs. Khadijah Hawaja Gambo – Commissioner. Mrs. Gambo is a gender rights activist, social entrepreneur and conflict resolution expert active in Plateau and neighbouring states. She is fluent in Arabic.

Mr. Bilya Bala
– Commissioner. Mr. Bala is an accomplished banker, management consultant and journalist.

Major-General Alexander Anjili Mshelbwala – Commissioner. General Mshelbwala is a retired infantry general knowledgeable in civil-military relations and counter-insurgency. He is a one-time Military Secretary of the Nigerian Army.

Mrs. Desire Deseye Nsirim CP (Rtd.) – Commissioner. Mrs. Nsirim was a distinguished police officer. She retired after serving as the commissioner of police of Niger State.

Dr. Bala Babaji
has also been appointed the Secretary to the Commission. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Islamic Legal Studies, Institute of Administration of the Ahmadu Bello University. He will be assisted in the discharge of his functions by a secretariat with experts drawn from academia, civil society, private sector and the public service of the state and the Federation.

The Kaduna State Government consulted widely with the governments of the 19 Northern States and the Federal Government in a bid to identify credible, independent and impartial persons knowledgeable in various aspects that the Inquiry is expected to cover. The government expresses its gratitude to all those that participated in the meticulous process that led to the appointment of the Commissioners and Chairman, and thanks the chairman, membership and secretariat of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry for accepting to serve.


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  • same old rubbish

    WazobiaReporters has gathered from a close presidency source that Jafaru Isa, a chieftain of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was awarded a contract through the Ministry of Education.

    The contract said to be worth over N300 million was allegedly backdated to December, last year.

    The contract, from which he got N100 million as mobilization fee was to build facilty in some universities.

    “It was this mobilization fund that omeone was instructed to go drop with EFCC,” the source said.

    It should be recalled that WazobiaReporters had reported on January 11, 2016 that it was the Presidency that packaged the arrest of Jafaru Isa and the N100 million refund to give impression that the ANTI corruption fight was not selective.

    A source, who claimed to be in the know told our reporter that Isa’s arrest by the EFCC and the subsequent refund of N100 million was just packaged to give the impression that the president was not being selective in his fight against corruption.

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  • ABDLLAHI

    Better late than never , however Iam not a lawyer but i dont know whether the kaduna state government can investigate activities of a gaint federal institution like NIGERIAN ARMY unhindered. Another observation since the clash involved muslims of shiites subidentity all the members are either christians or sunni muslims among them there is one prof umar labdo who is a rabid hater of shia in tought,and actions his books are currently in circulations in bookshops and malls which are exclusively disparaging shia and has many of such books , so how do you expect such people to work as umpire in circumstances like this, common mr Nasiru have a rethink. Dont forget it was a celebration galore by extreme sunnis that this thing happened, infact some ulamas have been given sermons praising the government and already drawing conclusion as who were to blame on the whole matter. Dont forget a particular kaduna based medical doctor cum islamic scholar had exclusively about 3 to 4 years ago in his yearly ramadan tafsir in sultan bello mosque called for the shiites to be killed, chase out of their houses and strip them from source of their livelihood for being shiites and who knows Buratai and Buhari being sunni muslims heeded to advice given to muslims and acted at an available oppotunity which the shiites foolishly provided. And another observation including many top military officers serving or retired is given the soldiers undue opportunity to be prosecutors in their own case , once a soldier always a soldier. If you will include people like prof umar labdo then you should include at least one high ranking shia member or drop labdo. The committee has no single shia element as per as i know. i dont know how justice could be served. I assure you by now all those muslims whose names appear in this committe the hard core sunni salaf /izala arch rivals of shiia will be lobbying them to do everything possible to indict shiites infaact they will put it to them that this is a jihad and this should be their contribution and to act otherwise is disservice to islam. already they are praising the governor/buhari for doing jihad on their behalf. only time tells.