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Army/Shi’ites clash: Panel summons Depot Commandant, five others

The Kaduna State Commission of Inquiry into the Dec. 12 Shiite/Army clash in Zaria, has ordered the Commandant, Nigerian Army Depot Zaria, Brig.-Gen. Christopher Gwabin Musa to appear before it.

The Chairman of the Commission, Justice Muhammed Lawal-Garba gave the order at the resumed sitting of the panel on Monday in Kaduna.

He also ordered the Depot Commandant to appear with five other senior officers on Wednesday, April 27.

Lawal-Garba gave the order shortly after Maj.-Gen. Olaniyi Oyebade, General Officer Commanding (GOC), 1 Division, Kaduna, re-appeared to clarify the controversy surrounding the 191 corpses recovered from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria.

Lawal-Garba also directed that the leader of the Cordon and Search Operation, Lt.-Col. O. O. Odufua , who allegedly arrested Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky and his wife, Zeenat, to appear before it.

On cross examination, the GOC confirmed that he only received verbal information about the 191 corpses that were evacuated from the depot for the mass burial in Mando.

The Army during its first appearance before the panel, denied knowledge of the death of members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) during the search in Gyellesu area of Zaria.

However, the Kaduna State government in its submission announced that 347 persons were killed during the Army operation at Gyellesu and Husseinia areas in Zaria.

Oyebade had appeared alongside the Medical Officer at the Depot, Maj. Uche Ogulanna to explain the source of the corpses.

Oyebade was also called to identify the officer who gave the order for the search of the homes of the IMN leaders as well as members.

The commission directed the officers to appear before it and explain their roles during the Dec. 12 and Dec. 14 clash between the Army and the Members of IMN in Zaria.

It would be recalled that 191 of the corpses were transported from the Army Depot, Zaria to Mando Cemetery where 347 corpses were given mass burial.

The mass burial was supervised by the officials of the Kaduna State government and the officers of the Nigerian Army on Dec. 15.

The panel adjourned its sitting till Wednesday, April 27, to enable it visit the areas affected in Zaria on Tuesday, April 26.

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