Zaria Massacre: Shi’a group accuses Human Rights Commission of bias

Shi'ite procession from Kaduna to Zaria

The Shi’a Islamic Movement of Nigeria says it has severed ties with a panel set up by the National Human Rights Commission to investigate the December 2015 alleged attack on the chief of army staff, Tukur Buratai, by Shi’a members.

While the army claimed Mr. Buratai was under attack, the Shiites said troops killed hundreds of its members.

The group accuses the rights commission of bias in its investigations.

A judicial commission of inquiry set up by the Kaduna government is also investigating the clash.

A statement by Ibrahim Musa, president of Media Forum of the Islamic Movement on Thursday, said the movement resolved to discontinue its participation with an investigation by the human rights commission.

The movement said at the time of setting up the panel, the tenure of the governing council of the commission had expired, and that the Executive Secretary of the Commission lacked powers to decide on petitions, cases and complaints of violations of human rights received from individuals or other persons or communities.

“Secondly we are uncomfortable with the methodology adopted by the National Human Rights Commission relating to the complaint filed,” the group said.

“We find it odd that we are unable to confront the complainant in the petition and test the veracity of all his assertions.”

The group said a letter stating its position had been sent to Tony Ojukwu, chairman, panel of Investigation National Human Rights Commission.

“If it can be remembered shortly after the army’s attack on the Islamic movement, the Chief of army Staff quickly rushed to the NHRC, claiming that an attempt was made on his life.

“Later the Islamic Movement tendered its memorandum on the absurd claims made by the army General to the Commission.

“However with the current development, the impartiality and credibility of the investigative panel has been compromised, we will therefore cease any cooperation with the panel on this matter,” the group said.

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