Kaduna State Government, yesterday, said 347 persons were killed during the December 12 Shiite/Nigerian Army clash in Zaria.
The state government said the corpses were committed into a mass grave at the Mando area jointly supervised by the state government officials and about 40 men of the Nigerian Army, led by an officer with the rank of a Major. The SSG said 189 suspects were being prosecuted for alleged involvement in the Zaria crisis while one suspect had died in custody. He said the state government had received several security reports from the Directorate of State Service, DSS, on the activities of the movement.
According to him, several measures had been taken to address the situation before it finally escalated into the clash with the Nigerian Army. Another witness and Director-General, Kaduna State Interfaith Agency, Mr. Namadi Musa, said the mass burial was conducted on December 14 and 15, respectively, and it took the officials about six hours to complete the burial. Musa said while six tonnes of Mercedes tippers conveyed the 191 corpses from the ABUTH, the Army used three heavy duty trucks to convey corpses from the Zaria Army Depot. “The mass burial was authorised through a warrant of burial obtained from a Kaduna Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kaduna,” he said. The state government blamed some of the lapses and the excesses of the movement on the laxity of the previous government which did not take serious action to curtail the activities of the sect.
On alleged demolition of buildings and structures of the IMN leader, the witnesses said that the demolitions were based on recommendations of a committee set up by the state government. The witnesses, including officials of KASUPDA, KAPWA and the state ministry of Works, Transport and Housing, told the panel that several other structures belonging to individuals had been demolished due to poor building specifications and standards. Mrs. Saratu Haruna, General Manager, KASUPDA; Mr. Namadi Musa, D-G Interfaith Agency; and Prof. Adamu Ahmed, Deputy CMD, ABUTH, appeared before the panel.