Kaduna state governor Nasir el-Rufai despite making a promise on July 15th to release the contents of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry in the shortest possible time, has failed to release the findings of the panel 12 days later.
The governor had stated on July 15th: “In the interest of transparency, the Kaduna State Government intends to make the final report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Zaria clashes available to the public in the shortest possible time, even while the whitepaper process is ongoing,.”
However while a commission to write the white-paper has been inaugurated, 12 days after and as victims of the massacre continue to languish in detention and the Mando cemetery where over 350 massacre victims were buried is yet to be exhumed, the state governor is still holding the report close to his chest and further delaying long-overdue justice as is cautiously hoped to be contained therein.
Unverified reports of fragments of the report provide that the Nigerian army under command of General Tukur Yusuf Buratai was indicted in the massacre of over 350 Nigerian minority Muslims in Zaria between December 12th and the 14th of last year.
The Kaduna state government itself that set up the panel of inquiry was also seriously indicted by the report that found the Kaduna government co-conspirators with the army in the secret burial of hundreds of victims in the Mando cemetery.
The Kaduna Judicial panel has been the only inquiry into the headline massacre by the Buhari government.
The Islamic movement failed to attend the inquiry citing the continued illegal detention of chief victims, Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife Zeenat as the federal government’s making it impossible for them to make an appearance and thereby obstructing justice.
While Nigeria’s chief of army Tukur Buratai had claimed that the army only killed 7 Islamic movement members, the report found the army chief guilty of an attempted coverup of a mega scale massacre of over 350 unarmed victims in the two days of continuous carnage that followed a road blockage of the army chief’s path.
SaharaReporters, a media close tot he governor had reported that the governor planned to edit the report before making it public.
White Paper Report New Panel
TheNation reports that a “nine-man panel chaired by Adamu Mohammed Mansur, the Permanent Secretary in the state Ministry of Education, is expected to submit a draft paper on the incident within the two weeks.”
“A statement issued by the Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the Governor on Media and Publicity, Samuel Aruwan said, other members of the White Paper Drafting Committee are: Hauwa U. Umar Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources, Bari’atu Yusuf Mohammed Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Housing and Transport, Ibrahim Sambo, Permanent Secretary, Ministry for Local Government and Ja’afaru Ibrahim Sani Permanent Secretary, Cabinet Affairs and Special Services.
“They also include: Aisha Kumbo Mohammed Permanent Secretary, Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Ambisa Adze Jonah, Permanent Secretary, Civil Service Commission, Barrister M.I Aliyu, Ministry of Justice and Alexander K. Sule, Office of the Secretary to the State Government.
“The terms of reference guiding the committee is to study the recommendations of the Report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clash between a Detachment of the Nigerian Army and Members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria and produce a white paper on the report.
“It is also expected to make any other recommendation(s) that will assist government in addressing issues raised in the report.”