By Philips Sunday
The Kaduna State Government on Monday admitted that about 347 Shi’ites killed by the Nigerian Army during the December 12 Shiite/Nigerian Army clash in Zaria, were buried in secret mass graves in Kaduna.
Mr. Lawal, who led a six-man government witnesses before the panel, said 191 corpses were taken from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, and were buried at Mando area of Kaduna, adding that 156 corpses were also conveyed from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital (ABUTH), Zaria, to the same Mando area.
According to the Kaduna state government, the corpses were buried in a single grave (mass burial) at the Mando area jointly supervised by the state government officials and about 40 men of the Nigerian Army, led by an officer in the rank of a Major.
Meanwhile, an official also confirmed that the corpses were mostly those of youth members of the Islam Movement (IMN) who he alleged attempted to attack the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, on Dec. 12, 2015, in Zaria.
Director-General, Kaduna State Interfaith Agency, Namadi Musa, who was also a witness, said the mass burial was conducted on December 14 and 15, respectively, and that it took the officials about six hours to complete the burial.
Mr. 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 Magistrates’ Court in Kaduna,’’ he said.
Among the witnesses were officials of the Kaduna State Urban Planing and Development Authority (KASUPDA), the Kaduna Public Works Agency (KAPWA) and the state ministry of Works, Transport and Housing.