Zaria Clashes: El-Rufai Names Members Of Judicial Commission Of Inquiry

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Kaduna State Government has announced the composition of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the 12th-14th December 2015 clashes in Zaria between the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and the Nigerian Army.
The judicial commission of inquiry established under Section 2 of the Kaduna State Commission of Inquiry Law, 1991, would be inaugurated next week.
According to a statement signed by the Special Assistant to the Governor (Media and Publicity) Samuel Aruwan, the presiding justice of the Port Harcourt division of the Court of Appeal, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba will serve as the Chairman of the Commission.
“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 statewide 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.
Other members of the Commission are; 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.

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