Skip to main content

Nigeria: IHRC Cautiously Welcomes Inquiry Findings Into Nigeria Massacre

PRESS RELEASE - Nigeria: IHRC cautiously welcomes inquiry findings into Nigeria massacre

IHRC welcomes the recommendation of the judicial commission of inquiry into the massacre of hundreds of members of Nigeria's Islamic Movement last December that the general behind the savage attack be prosecuted.

The panel’s report, which was submitted to Kaduna state governor Nasir el-Rufai last Friday, is yet to be made public but it is reported to be highly damning of the General Officer Commanding the Nigerian Army’s 1st Division, Adeniyi Oyebade.

According to the Nigerian press which has obtained a copy of the report, it accuses the general of orchestrating the military operation outside the chain of command.

A representative of the Kaduna State government told the commission of inquiry that 347 bodies were handed over by the army for a secret mass burial. But despite the evidence, the army claimed it killed only seven IMN members who blocked a public road and attempted to assassinate Tukur Buratai, the chief of army staff who was passing through the area. The army maintained the line that troops only used force after the IMN put Mr. Buratai’s life in danger.

IHRC has evidence that the IMN lost more than a thousand members in the attack that took place between December 12-14 in Zaria.

The leader of the imn, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, and his wife Zeenat were arrested by soldiers during the operation and remain in custody without charge.

It is disappointing that the report holds neither the federal government nor the army leadership responsible for the massacre blaming it on a 'rogue' general. This effectively lets them off the hook.

Finding that the military employed disproportionate force to quell what it calls civil unrest seems like an attempt to find a scapegoat, a rogue operator, for what was essentially a pre-planned massacre.

According to eyewitnesses who have spoken with IHRC, the military assault appears to have been pre-planned, highly organised and targeted. During their Fun of violence soldiers targeted the leadership of the IMN and its symbols. They destroyed the Hussainiyyah Baqiyatullah which served as the movement's headquarters, demolished the premises housing the tomb of Sheikh Zakzaky's mother and smashed up graves belonging to the victims of another army massacre in July 2014 which led to the killing of 34 civilians. By all accounts it was a well-organised attempt to snuff out the IMN.

The panel said it was able to confirm the deaths of 349 people, including a soldier. But it made clear it lacked the cooperation of military officials to establish the actual number of those killed.

General Oyebade and other yet-to-be-disclosed officers who participated in the operation “should be brought to trial before a court of competent jurisdiction”, says the report.

The army has stubbornly refused to cooperate with the inquiry, something for which it was criticised by the commission.

The mass burial of victims by the state authorities also prevented the commission from establishing the exact causes of death. The panel further found the state's failure to segregate corpses according to their gender breached Islamic traditions and other relevant burial laws of Kaduna State and also Rule 115 of the Geneva Convention.

While IHRC has always maintained that the judicial inquiry was flawed and biased we nevertheless welcome its acknowledgement that a massacre indeed took place and that it was planned and executed by a section of the Nigerian military. It is a first step in establishing the truth and getting accountability and justice for the victims.

IHRC would like to reiterate its call for the Chief of Army Staff Tukutur Buratai and the state authorities in Kaduna to be investigated for their role in the massacre and for the authorities to immediately release all IMN members detained in the assault.

We also call for an independent investigation into reports of depraved violence during the massacre with people being burnt alive or being hacked to death with machetes and knives.  Acts of sordid sexual violence have been reported including cases of rape against women affiliates of the IMN. A 14-year old female witness told IHRC that the military shot her in her private parts when she resisted attempts by soldiers To Molest her. Some women reportedly had their breasts cut off and others were deliberatelly shot in the pelvic region damaging their uteri.

Notes to editors:

Last March IHRC called on the International Criminal Court to to open a preliminary inquiry into the December 2015 massacre.

Our report which we submitted to the ICC can be found here

For media enquiries or further details please email or call +44 20 8904 4222 or +44 7958 522196
Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

FG and labor leaders to meet today over planned strike action against increased pump price

The Federal government, leaders of the Nigeria Labor Congress NLC ‎and Trade Union allies will be meeting today May 16th to discuss on the planned strike action by the Labor congress. The labor leaders on Saturday May 14th gave FG till midnight of Tuesday May 17th to revert to the old pup price of petrol of N86.50 or face a total strike that may begin on Wednesday May 18th.

The Federal government and Labor leaders' meeting will hold at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation in Abuja by 10am..

Those expected at the meeting include Minister of Labor Chris Ngige, leaders of NLC, TUC, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, and their Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN counterpart.

TRAGEDY IN GHANA-Police officer, pregnant wife, daughter perish in gory accident,new born baby survives

A Police officer, his pregnant wife, their 3-year-old daughter and their nephew died in a horrible accident on the Adabraka road Sunday dawn.

The Police officer identified as Sergeant Francis Essuman 42, with his nephew Kobby 21, and their daughter Wilhelmina 3, were accompanying his pregnant wife, Elizabeth Essuman, 36, to the hospital to deliver when the accident occurred.

According to Chief Inspector Lilly Rockson in an interview with Adom News said, the pregnant woman delivered a bouncing baby boy in the taxi half way to the hospital prompting them to panic.

In a bid to quickly get her to the hospital to avert any complications, the taxi driver was compelled to speed but ended up crushing into a Sprinter bus which was on top speed from Tudu in Accra.

Title-crazy civil servants to go

Title-crazy civil servants are scared of being sacked, The Nation learnt at the weekend. Officials, who violated the Public Service Rule banning titles until after retirement, may be retired in the coming civil service reforms.
Only those whose titles were traditionally inherited may be spared but their postings and conduct will be put under watch.
According to sources, the government is disturbed that most of the top civil servants with honorary awards actually bought them at high fees.
The affected civil servants violated the rules which grants them the right to such honors only after retirement.
Besides committing the resources of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAS) to such awards, most of the civil servants used the window to “grant favour to groups, persons, and communities in violation of their oath of office.”