The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has criticised the composition of the Borno Commission of Inquiry.
In a statement signed by its President, Prof. Ishaq Akintola the group said that, 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.
“It is being alleged 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.
“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”it said.
The group said, 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.
“Is there a hidden agenda? Is something about to be swept under the carpet? The Nigerian Army is known for setting up probe panels to investigate itself and, expectedly, to vindicate itself and all its actions in the final findings. Is FG preparing the ground for a padded report?” it questioned.
MURIC demanded 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 explained that it is natural to nurse suspicions concerning a body established to investigate Muslim communities which 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.
“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,” it explained.
It would be recalled that, the Federal Government recently set up a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Nigerian Military and it’s compliance with the rules of engagement in the war against the insurgency in the North East.