26 November 2012

Nigeria: Kaduna - White Paper On 2011 Post-Election Violence Inconclusive - Investigation

The White Paper by the Kaduna State Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the 2011 post-presidential election crisis recently released by the state government has been considered as 'inconclusive,' LEADERSHIP authoritatively gathered.

The judicial commission of inquiry which was chaired by Justice Muhammadu Lawal Bello, in its white paper, allegedly indicted some officials of the Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) among other persons and urged the security agencies to further investigate them.

A competent source within the Kaduna State Executive Council told LEADERSHIP that, "the council at a sitting, decided that the report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry was inclusive considering the fact that people were indicted on the basis of mere allegations by some group of persons".

The source added that the job was handled badly and only political and personal interests were considered.

"The report was done in a hurry while the number of deaths recorded by the committee was inconclusive, and the police, civil defence and other memos submitted to the committee were at variance.

"The names mentioned in the white paper were never given a fair hearing. They were never given the opportunities to defend themselves.

"So, considering these issues, the council decided that the report was inconclusive and therefore ordered that the police further investigate the people," he added.

He further stated that the committee failed to carry out a very critical part of its assignment and instead, passed on the duty to the police to further investigate the indicted persons.

"The issues raised in the white paper makes it impossible under the law to indict or punish anybody except and until, the police investigates, verifies and reconcile the facts and the findings.

According to the source, the commitment of Governor Patrick Yakowa to genuinely bring to book, all indicted persons in all the ethno-religious violence cannot be faulted.

When contacted on the matter, the state's commissioner of Justice and Attorney-General, Barr. Kish Jonathan Adamu, said "our stand is that people who were allegedly accused of taking part in the cries should be given a fair hearing. They should be investigated and should be tried if they are found culpable.

"What happened is that so many groups and people made wild allegations against different people. And in most cases, these accused persons were not able to come to the panel to give their own side of the story. They were not heard and the report of the commission of the inquiry did not indict them.

"Memoranda submitted by different people made allegations against specific people. And the government considers that since serious allegations were made against the people, these allegations should be investigated by the law enforcement agencies. The people should be further investigated," he said.

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