Group faults composition of Borno panel
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has reacted to the makeup of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Federal Government to investigate the Nigerian Military and its compliance with the rules of engagement in the war against insurgency in the North East, warning that the All-Christian nature of the commission rubs of credibility.
Members of the seven-man Commission include Hon. Justice Biobele A. Georgewill (Chairman), Major-General Patrick Akem, Mr. Wale Fapohunda, Mrs. Hauwa Ibrahim, Mr. Jibrin Ibrahim, Mrs. Ifeoma Nwakama and the Representative of the office of the National Security Adviser.
The president of MURIC, professor Ishaq Akintola noted that those who bear Muslim names among the members are non-Muslims. Jibrin Ibrahim is allegedly a Christian from Kano State. Hauwa Ibrahim who is from Gombe reportedly abandoned Islam a long time ago. He is married to an Italian and works with Harvard’s School of Divinity.
He said, the exclusion of indigenes of the North East from membership of the Commission is another bone of contention. There is no single person from Adamawa, Borno or Yobe among the members. Yet these are the major stakeholders. Who feels it knows it. John cannot be taking panadol when Mustapha is the one who has headache.
“The indigenes are the main victims of the insurgency. The fact that they speak the local languages and understand the various cultures and may be conversant with the history, trends and events as they unfolded should have qualified them for membership more than anyone else”.
MURIC demands a review of the membership of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate the activities of the Nigerian Army in the North East insurgency. It is natural to nurse suspicions concerning a body established to investigate Muslim communities that excludes Muslims from its membership. Neither can the indigenes be expected to be comfortable or to repose confidence in a Commission in which they are not represented.
An experienced Muslim judge ought to have been made chairman of the commission while another Muslim should also serve as a member. It is definitely not too much to have at least two Muslims in a Commission whose membership is seven and whose area of operation is a predominantly Muslim territory, he said
“Can anyone imagine the uproar that would be generated if an all-Muslim Commission is set up to investigate an issue based in the South-East, South-South or South-West? FG must always consider these factors in sensitive appointments and assignments. This is the way to make a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic country work”.