Kajuru Crises : El-Rufai Inaugurates Judicial Commission of Inquiry
In a bid to find a lasting solution to the incessant communial crises at Kajuru local government areas and sorrounding communities ,Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai, today inaugurated an 12-Man member Judicial Commission of Inquiry .
Speaking shortly after swearing-in members of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry held at Sir Kashim Ibrahim House, Governor El-rufai ,who noted that violent conflicts have riven communities at the affected area ,said Kaduna Government is persuaded that building sustainable peace in the area requires that all the facts around the episodes of violent conflict be established.
The Governor who also said there were major convulsions in the axis, at least twice in 2018 added , ” This sometimes had spillover effects into neighbouring places, including Kaduna metropolis itself as we witnessed in October 2018. ”
According to him, this year alone, mass killings and displacements were reported in communities within Kajuru LGA in February.
He however, said “further to that decision, the Kaduna State Government has constituted the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the Incessant Communal crises in Kajuru LGA and surrounding communities, with the following members:
i.Justice Isa Aliyu, the Chairman, is a judge of the Kaduna State High Court.
ii. AVM Abdullahi Shehu (rtd.) was a Deputy Defence Attaché at the Nigerian High Commission in London and was later Deputy Commandant of the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna.
iii. Mr. B. C. Osuji served in the Kaduna State Command of the SSS as an Assistant Director.
iv. AIG UU Shehu (rtd.) was a Commissioner of Police in Kaduna State.
v. Mrs. Hannatu Ugah retired as Head of Service, Kaduna State
vi. Rear Admiral Ferguson Bobai (rtd.) was a Flag Officer Commanding Western Navy Command and retired as Chief of Training and Operations at the headquarters of the Nigerian Navy.
vii. Alh. Auwal Aliyu Damau retired as a Permanent Secretary in the Kaduna State Civil Service.
viii. Muhammad Sani Isa, a trained mediator, is a Director in the Interfaith Mediation Centre.
ix. Reverend Dr. Yusuf Biniyat is a Senior Pastor of the ECWA Church and was Executive Secretary of the ECWA Kaduna South District Church Council.
x. Salim Musa Umar is an associate of the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and has been active in peace building in Kaduna and Plateau States. Salim and his colleagues were responsible for drafting the Kafanchan Peace Declaration that we signed early in 2016.
Barrister Edward Andow, Director of Commercial Law in the Ministry of Justice, is the Secretary to the Commission. Barrister M.I. Aliyu, Director of Citizens Right Department, will serve as Counsel to the Commission.”
The Judicial Commission of Commission has the following mandates:
i. To inquire into or investigate, ascertain and identify the immediate and remote causes of all instances of disturbances from 2017 to date in Kajuru, Kachia, Chikun LGAs and surrounding communities;
ii. Identify individuals, traditional and religious institutions and other associations that might have contributed to the build-up of the disturbances and recommend further action by government;
iii. Assess and determine the extent of loss of lives and property and other forms of damage caused during the disturbances and identify the perpetrators of the dastardly acts for further action by government;
iv. Make any other recommendations to government consequential to or related to any or all these terms of reference;
v. In the light of the Commission’s findings, recommend appropriate legal and other actions to be taken against those responsible for the disturbances;
The Commission of Inquiry is expected to make appropriate recommendations to government on steps to be taken to forestall future occurrence of such disturbances.
While disclosing that the Commission will have no more than three months to conclude its work, post-inauguration, he said all members of the Commission are chosen for the assignment due to their in-depth knowledge about the State, or expertise in the areas of security management, conflict and peace-building as well your established objectivity in assessment of situations and people.
He future explained; “One of the problems that has driven conflict in Kaduna State is that people have taken sides in these conflicts, not based on reason but along ethnic or religious lines.
“We are confident that from the track record of the Chairman and members of the Commission, you are well above that. We have selected the members from all parts of the country, but with in-depth knowledge of Kaduna State, because we believe that the conflict in Kajuru and surrounding areas is of interest to the entire nation. Every Nigerian has a stake in knowing what is happening in Kajuru and surrounding communities.
“The Kaduna State Government expects that the work of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry will not only establish the facts but will also help government and the communities involved to advance peace and justice. We wish My Lord, the chairman, and members every success in this daunting assignment.
“While this Judicial Commission of Inquiry was being constituted, the state government and the local government council have taken steps to stabilise the situation in the area. Security detachments are emplaced in the Kajuru axis, and the Nigerian Air Force has established a Forward Operating Base and we also have detachments of the police and Civil Defence present there. Peace dialogue among the communities have been encouraged and the Kajuru Local Government Council.
“The state government has also commenced rebuilding the Kasuwan Magani market that was burnt during the October 2018 conflict. The market is being modernised and expanded to accommodate previous shop owners as well as interested new entrants.
“It is our hope that community leaders will encourage people to lift their gaze above division, to embrace a common humanity and respect the right of everyone to life, liberty and respect the right of everyone to life, liberty and legitimate livelihoods. The toll of death and suffering does not have to continue, if everyone does their duty for peace and harmony.”