Zaria Massacre: Human rights commission inaugurates 5-man probe panel

Shiite muslims in Zaria
Shiite muslims in Zaria

The National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, has inaugurated a five-man panel to investigate the remote and immediate causes of the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Shiite Islamic sect in Zaria.

The Executive Secretary of the commission, Bem Angwe, who inaugurated the panel in Abuja on Monday, said that the investigation became necessary, following a complaint tendered before the commission by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai.

“On the December 14, 2015 the Chief of Army Staff presented a petition to the National Human Rights Commission on allegations of attempt on the life of the Chief of Army Staff and attack on his convoy on his way to Zaria, which eventually led to a vicious clash between the military and some members of the Shiite sect in Zaria, leading to the loss of several lives and property.

“Pursuant to the receipt of this complaint from the military, the commission, in line with its mandate to receive complaints on human rights violations, to monitor and to investigate such allegations, with a view to making appropriate determination in the circumstances, has decided to constitute an investigation panel with a view to carrying out a holistic investigation into the alleged violations of human rights,” said Mr. Angwe, a professor.

According to Mr. Angwe, the panel was expected to make recommendations to the commission on how to forestall a recurrence.

He stated that the panel will investigate to determine violations of human rights on any of the parties during the clash, recommend remedies, and restitution if necessary.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the five-man panel has Tony Ojukwu as its chairman, and Kabiru Elayo as secretary.

Other members of the committee include Abdulrahman Yakubu; Halilu Adamu; and Babangida Labaran.

Responding on behalf of the panel, Mr. Ojukwu promised that it would do its best to justify the confidence reposed in it.

The panel has two months within which to submit its report.


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