By Shu’aibu I. Ahmad
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has pledged to set up a high-powered committee to investigate the killing of 34 people, mostly students by the Nigeria military during the International Quds Day procession in Zaria on 25 and 26 July, 2014.
The move came as a result of a rally held at the headquarters of the NHRC by the Nigerian students from various tertiary institutions under the umbrella of Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (AFIMN) last month, pressing for justice.
NHRC gave the assurance when representatives of the Academic Forum presented to the commission detail report of the killing, which included pictures and video clips in Abuja on Monday.
Receiving the supporting documents on behalf of the Executive Secretary, Signatory of the NHRC Kabiru Alhassan stated that, “the commission will make an independent investigation to ascertain if what happened violated the victims’ right to life as guaranteed under section 33 of 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) and other regional and international Human Rights instrument, to which Nigeria is a party”.
Responding, representatives of the Academic Forum hoped for a speedy and just response from the Commission, saying justice delayed is justice denied.
It would be recalled that on the 25th and 26th of July ,2014 , a detachment of Nigerian Army headed by Lt. Col. S .O Oku in a broad daylight murdered 34 people, including 3 of Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky’s sons, during the annual International Quds Day procession in Zaria.
Chairman of the NHRC, Professor Chidi Ansalem Odinkalu had also paid condolence visit to Shaikh Zakzaky, where he pledged that the commission “will seek all legal avenues and employ all legal mechanisms to ensure law takes its rightful course”.