Zaria massacre: El-Rufai inaugurates panel of inquiry

The Kaduna State governor, Nasir El-Rufai, on Friday inaugurated the Judicial Commission of Inquiry he set up recently, following a clash between the followers of Shiite cleric, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and the Nigerian Army.

On December 17 last year, Mr. El-Rufai announced the establishment of a state Judicial Commission of Inquiry, with membership cutting across the academia, media and civil society.

The Shiite group recently released a list of 705 people missing or presumed killed by the Nigerian Army during the clash.

While reading the 13-point terms of reference, the governor thanked members of the commission for accepting to undertake the assignment.

“I wish to thank the chairman, members and secretary of this Judicial Commission of Inquiry for accepting to undertake this assignment.

“I want to recognize and also thank Yusuf Ali, SAN, and the team of lawyers working with him for graciously accepting to serve as counsel to the commission,” he said.


1 – To determine the immediate causes of the clashes;

2 – To determine the historical circumstances, surrounding and contributory factors and remote causes of the clashes;

3 – To ascertain the number of persons killed, wounded or missing during the clashes;

4 – To identify all property alleged to have been damaged or destroyed during the clashes, the owners or occupiers of such property and the value claimed by them for such damage or destruction;

5 – To identify actions and omissions of relevant persons, traditional and religious institutions, Federal and State actors and emergency response agencies before, during and after the clashes;

6 – To determine whether the actions and omissions identified in sub-paragraph (e) above were necessary, appropriate and sufficient in the circumstances in which they occurred.

7 – To determine the evolution of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, its organization, structure, membership, growth, assets, resources, culture and practices, and how any or all of these contributed to any engagement with the community, constituted authorities and the security agencies;

8 – To review all other factors, issues or matters, including the alleged involvement of foreign and domestic actors or their influence or instigation, that may have contributed to the incident or may conduce to such incidents in the future and make recommendations thereto;

9 – To make recommendations to the Kaduna State government and the federal government as to direct or indirect responsibility for any acts of commission or omission identified in sub-paragraph (v) above;

10 – To make recommendations as to actions to be taken to ensure that administrative or criminal responsibility is further determined by the appropriate administrative or judicial authorities for any identified acts or omissions;

11 – To make recommendations as to actions to be taken, policies to be developed and implemented to ensure that acts and omissions that may have contributed or led to the clashes are pre-empted entirely or, where they occur, their negative effects are mitigated, in future;

12 – To recommend any matter for prosecution, further investigation or the convening of a separate inquiry to the appropriate law enforcement agency, government department or prosecutor regarding the conduct of a certain person or persons; and

13 – To investigate any other matter incidental or relevant to these Terms of Inquiry which, in the commission’s view, should be investigated and make any other pertinent recommendations that it deems necessary for the purpose.

The commission is expected to submit it interim and final reports of within six weeks after the first public sitting.


Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba – Chairman

Salisu Shehu – Commissioner

Umar Labdo – Commissioner

Salihu Abubakar – Commissioner

Auwalu Yadudu – Commissioner

Ibrahim Gambari – Commissioner

Afakriya Gadzama – Commissioner

Alexander Anjili Mshelbwala – Commissioner

Jibrin Ibrahim – Commissioner

Bilya Bala – Commissioner

Aminun-Kano Maude – Commissioner

Desire Deseye Nsirim – Commissioner
Khadijah Hawaja Gambo – Commissioner

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