The Kaduna State Government on Monday said that 347 corpses were given a mass burial at the Mando cemetery after a clash between soldiers and members of the Shiite’s sect in Kaduna last year.
The Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Mallam Balarabe Lawal, who said this when he appeared before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry, said the corpses were given a mass burial in a grave on December 14, 2015 in a cemetery along Mando/Zaria Road.
According to the SSG, a total of 191 unknown corpses were recovered from the Army Depot in Zaria and another batch of 156 corpses were recovered from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika.
Corroborating the SSG, the Director-General of Interfaith, Muhammad Namadi Musa, who claimed he supervised the burial, said the corpses were interred between 12 midnight and 5am.
Musa said, “On December 13, 2015, I received a phone call from the SSG to come to the Government House after which I was directed to go to Zaria to find out the number of corpses and how they would be buried.
“I moved in company of the state Commissioner of Police straight to ABUTH, Zaria to ascertain the number of corpses. There we counted 156 corpses.
“At the Nigerian Depot, the SSG directed me to meet with one Maj. Ogundare regarding the corpses there. After introducing myself, he refused to let me know the number; but later on, the SSG called me and told me the number.
“He also confirmed the number while they were being buried; as he counted them one after the other as they were laid in one grave.
“We left the Nigerian Army Depot with three heavy-duty trucks and 60 young officers who escorted us to assist in offloading the corpses. From ABUTH, Zaria, five small trucks carried the 196 corpses. Most corpses were covered with black materials and they included women and children.”
On why the state government demolished the Gyelasu resident of the Shiite leader, the Hussainiyya Centre, Dembo centre, Jushi and two other buildings belonging to Alhaji Aminu Idris and Alhaji Tijjani Mohammed, the SSG said they were pulled down because they did not meet the safety standards set by the state government.
Lawal added that a report from a team of engineers who carried out inspection on the houses said the buildings were failed structures.
“So, they were demolished in the interest of safety,” he said.
Also, the General Manager of Kaduna State Public Works Agency, Tanimu Abubakar and the Deputy Director, Ministry of Works and Transport, Muhammad Lawal Magaji, said in the course of carrying out inspection on the structures, it was observed that the buildings had structural defects.
Also, the elder brother to the embattled leader of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, Mohammed Sani Yaqoob, told the panel that he was happy with what the soldiers did to the sect members.
He said the sect was being funded by the Iranian government.
Yaqoob, a step brother to the Shiite leader, said the soldiers would have been regarded as cowards if they had retreated from the spot where the members of the sect blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai.
Muhammad, who spoke in Hausa, told the panel that as a child, El-Zakzaky, the fourth child in the family of 16, was “very sharp and intelligent.”
Yaqoob, who is also the Chairman of Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’iqamatis Sunnah, JIBWIS Zaria chapter, insisted that the Shiite group were funded by Iran.