Shiites Islamic sect kicks as government inaugurates enquiry commission

Government in Nigeria's North Central state has inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into clashes between the Nigeria Army and Shiites Islamic sect that led to the killing of hundreds of people in Zaria. 

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Islamic sect kicks as government inaugurates enquiry commission play

Islamic sect kicks as government inaugurates enquiry commission

(Pulse Nigeria)
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Government in Nigeria's North Central state has inaugurated a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into clashes between the Nigeria Army and Shiites Islamic sect that led to the killing of hundreds of people in Zaria. 

A clash with the convoy of the Nigerian Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, led to the death of about 800 people according to the sect members, but the military authority declared in a petition submitted to Nigeria's human rights commission that only seven persons were killed.

When pictures started circulating in the social media about the 'critical' condition of the Leader of Shiite Muslims in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El Zakzaky, he was reportedly flown to France to receive treatment. Nigerian authorities have not commented on the condition of the sect leader.

Even though the Islamic Movement in Nigeria also known as Shiites said they won't be part of the committee, the group spokesman said the formation of the commission of enquiry was already one sided.

Speaking during the inauguration in Kaduna, a state governor, Malam Nasir Elrufai said Since the government announced its decision to constitute the Judicial commission of Inquiry they have been asked why the inquiry in the light of certain actions the government has taken.

"Our response is that it is neither right nor prudent for the Kaduna State Government to abdicate its constitutional responsibility, and to conceal this under the cover of a commission of inquiry. Governance cannot be suspended even for processes as weighty as a Judicial Commission of Inquiry. Where the government has evidence that crimes have been committed, it is only proper that prosecutions be initiated," Elrufai said.

"Let it be clear that the Kaduna State Government is convinced that a Judicial Commission of Inquiry provides a chance to understand the events that happened, their background, establish casualties, assign responsibilities and make appropriate recommendations to the federal and state governments, so that such tragedies may be avoided in future. Those that wrongly believe that a federal government inquiry is necessary to satisfy them should note that under the 1999 Constitution, only State Governments can institute judicial commissions of inquiry in their states," Elrufai added.

But the group said they won't be part of the judicial commission adding that there was no way they will be part of a commission without knowing the whereabout of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim Zakzaky and hundreds of members allegedly under detention.

The group through their spokesman, Ibrahim Musa, said they have so far got over 700 names of their members that are missing adding that the numbers are still counting.

Musa said government must released over 800 corpses of their members killed if it is interested to hear their own side of the story.

"We are not going to be part of this judicial commission because of the following reasons: The government should released our Leader, all our members that are in detention, and they should released all corpses of the people they killed. We want to give our members they killed a befitting burial."

"We are compiling the list of our people that are still in detention, killed or missing. So far, we have more than 700 names of the missing people and the names are still coming. Let me tell you, we do not belief in the commission because they are not independent bodies. They are not human rights organisation," Ibrahim said. 

Meanwhile, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, has said that he almost got killed by the Shiites Muslim sect during the Saturday encounter between his convoy and the sect group in Zaria Kaduna state last December.

Buratai who spoke for the first time on the issue when he had a closed door session with the Nigeria Senate committee on Defence, said it was the powers of God that saved his life.

"You want to know how I escaped?  It was by the will of God that I was able to escape from that place.

"I think NTA was there and they aired the clip, it was very clear. They were violent, definitely this is very clear,  the clips are there. That was what happened. Nobody should take the law into his hands
", he said.

Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba – is the Chairman of the judicial commission that will look into the Zaria Army/ Shiites clash.

Prof. Salihu Shehu was named as Commissioner, Prof. Umar Labdo, Commissioner, Malam Salihu Abubakar – Commissioner, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu – Commissioner,  Prof. Ibrahim Gambari – Commissioner, Mr. Afakriya Gadzama – Commissioner, Brigadier-General Aminun-Kano Maude (rtd) – Commissioner, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, Mrs. Khadijah Hawaja Gambo, Mr. Bilya Bala, Major-General Alexander Anjili,  Mrs. Desire Deseye Nsirim  (CP Rtd.) and Dr. Bala Babaji are also part of the committee. 

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