Tuesday, 26 April 2016

The Nigerian Army reacts to the allegations of killing 347 members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN)

The army revealed this Monday, April 25, while speaking at the commission of inquiry investigating the last December 12-14 clash between the Nigerian army and members of the Islamic sect.

Mallam Balarabe Abbas Lawal, the secretary to the state government (SSG), at a previous sitting of the commission, pointed out that not fewer  than 347 unknown bodies were given mass burial in Kaduna a few days after the incident. 

Muhammad Namadi Musa, the director-general of interfaith claimed he led the burial of the unknown bodies, saying it was carried out at midnight and lasted till 5am.

“On December 13, 2015 I received a phone call from the SSG to come to the Government House, after which I was directed to go to Zaria to find out the number of bodies and how they would be buried. 

“At the Army depot, the SSG directed me to meet one Major Ogundare regarding the bodies there. After introducing myself, he refused to let me know the number; but later on, the SSG called me and told me the number,” Musa said. 

The Army stated that few bodies, and not 347 bodies, were handed over to the government for burial. 

Major Uche Agulana, a medical officer from the army depot, Zaria, said contrary to the government’s claim that 347 bodies were buried in mass grave, he handed over few bodies to the representative of the government. 

Cross examined by counsel to the commission, Agulana said he did not keep the record of the deaths, because, according to him, he was busy at that time “trying to save the lives of those brought to the hospital.”

The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Mechanised Division, said the Shi’ite attacked soldiers on that day adding that the situation prompted his men to apply force to restore law and order. 

When asked by the chairman of the commission why the Army did not inform the police before invading the home of the detained leader of the Shi’ite, Sheik Ibrahim El- Zakzaky, since the matter was a civil one, the GOC said the police had no enough manpower to curtail the IMN members.

Source- The Nation

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