Army/Shiites clash: Our roles to save lives-El-Rufai
Following allegations of bias, Governor Malam Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State has said that his government had to take certain actions immediately after the clash between the Nigerian Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria to halt further threat to lives and property.
He said it was only proper that prosecution be initiated where government has evidence that crimes had been committed, saying it was neither right nor prudent for the government to abdicate its constitutional responsibility at such a time.
El-Rufai who spoke at the inauguration of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the December 12 clashes in Zaria, said he also took measures to safeguard public health and safety by removing unsound structures, and clearing debris from the scene of the clashes.
“People were rescued from the debris, while corpses which could have constituted risk to public health were removed. The governance of the state cannot be paused because of the events of December 2015,” he said.
El-Rufai said the Kaduna State government was right to institute a judicial commission of inquiry into the clash, saying those that believed that only the federal government could do so should note that under the 1999 Constitution, only state governments can institute judicial commissions of inquiry while the federal government can only do so in the Federal Capital Territory of Abuja.
He said a state-level inquiry can invite, compel attendance and interrogate the criminal or administrative responsibility of federal actors.
He emphasized that “the laws of Kaduna State apply to every person that is engaged in acts of omission or commission in its territory whether that person or group is in the military, paramilitary or a civilian.
“Members of the armed forces, like all citizens, are subject to state and federal laws”.
Chairman of the commission, Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba, while thanking the governor for appointing them, assured of a thorough and open investigation, giving each part equal opportunity for justice.
Members include; Prof. Salisu Shehu, Prof. Umar Labdo, Malam Salihu Abubakar, Prof. Auwalu Yadudu, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Mr. Afakriya Gadzama, Maj-Gen Alexander Anjili Mshelbwala, Dr. Jibrin Ibrahim, Mr. Bilya Bala, Brig-General Aminun-Kano Maude, Mrs. Desire Deseye Nsirim CP, and Mrs. Khadijah Hawaja Gambo.
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