Shiite/Army clash: Buratai’s rights of movement was violated – Report

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The right of the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, was violated by members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria during the December 2015 Army/Shiite clash in Zaria, Kaduna State.

Tukur-Buratai

This was contained in the report of the National Human Rights Commission Special Investigation Panel on the clash released in Abuja on Wednesday.

The panel Chairman, Anthony Ojukwu, who presented the report to the NHRC Executive Secretary, Prof. Bem Angwe, said the blockage of a public highway by the IMN infringed on the freedom of movement of the Chief of Army Staff.

Ojukwu’s five-man committee said also that there was a violation of rights to life of the persons who died during clash in Zaria, Kaduna State

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He said the right of the IMN to property was violated because their property was destroyed without due process by the Kaduna State Government.

The committee recommended that members of the IMN arrested for various violations and offences should be speedily and fairly tried by the Kaduna State High Court.

Ojukwu said IMN was also asked to issue a public apology to the complainant and members of the public for the abuse of their rights to freedom of movement by blocking the public highway.

The committee, he said, recommended that compensation computed in a fair manner by experts should be paid by the Kaduna State Government to the victims of the demolished properties.

The Federal Government, he added, was also asked to pay compensation to those who lost their lives during the incident, including members of the armed forces.

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The panel made several other recommendations, including capacity building for the Nigerian Police, release of previous inquires into clashes between the Nigerian Army and the IMN and a ban on blockage of public highways.

Angwe, receiving the report, said it was a draft report and that the commission would critically asses it with a view to making its final report public.

He said the report indicated that there were a lot of issues with governance and administration of criminal justice.

He, however, gave the assurance that the commission would be fair and justice would be done to both sides.

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The Nigerian Army made a formal complaint to the commission on December 14, 2015 alleging an attack on the Chief of Army Staff and his convoy while on official duty in Zaria.

This prompted the commission to set up a five-man panel to investigate the incident with a view to identifying any human rights violations that might have occurred and the cause of the clash.

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