MANDO MASS GRAVE SITE IS A CRIME SCENE AND MUST BE PROTECTED TO PREVENT MISCHIEVOUS OBLITERATION OF EVIDENCE BY PERPETRATORS

PRESS STATEMENT

MANDO MASS GRAVE SITE IS A CRIME SCENE AND MUST BE PROTECTED
TO PREVENT MISCHIEVOUS OBLITERATION OF EVIDENCE BY PERPETRATORS

Reports reaching the Islamic Movement in Nigeria have it that some
unscrupulous people, who were behind the massacre of hundreds of
unarmed citizens and their secret burial in a mass grave, are planning to
secretly and unilaterally exhume the corpses in an effort to lower the
figure of those buried therein in the event of a subsequent full blown
international investigation of their crime.
Since the disclosure of the existence of a mass grave at the Judicial
Commission of Inquiry by officials of Kaduna State government, the
Nigerian Army has been quite uncomfortable. Initially, they tried to
debunk the existence of a mass grave in their testimonies at the
Commission. When it became obvious through confessions of officers of
the state government that mass grave exists, and that officers and men
of the Nigerian Army were fully involved in the construction of the mass
grave as well as the secret burial of hundreds of IMN members they
killed, the Nigerian Army officials have been working out how they could
at least significantly put down the number of corpses buried in the
grave. At a follow-up testimony at the Judicial Commission, they bluntly
refused to acknowledge the hundreds killed and buried in the mass grave,
claiming that they handed over only "a few" to state officials for burial.
The Islamic Movement in Nigeria wishes to make it categorically clear
that the site of the mass grave where the Kaduna state government
admitted that it had buried 347 of those killed by the Nigerian military
in Zaria last December is a crime scene, hence any attempt to tamper
with it would not only be taken as a sacrilege and unacceptable, but
also as an attempt to tamper with an important exhibit, which is a
serious crime in itself.
We wish to also show our dissatisfaction with the reaction of the
government at all levels to the disclosure of the existence of mass
grave. The least we expected were steps to protect and safeguard the
place by independent-minded bodies, to prevent any attempts at
mischievous alteration or obliteration of crime facts by perpetrators. If
this confession of mass grave were in other climes, it would have been
accorded all the protection of a crime scene, so that eventually justice
will be done to the victims. Surprisingly however, the site is left very
vulnerable to mischief-makers.
It remains on record that government officials testifying before the
Justice Mohammed Lawal Garba-led commission had confessed to
burying at least 347 corpses in a mass grave. If the military is claiming
that only a “few” corpses were buried there, there should be no hasty
unilateral action on any of the parties disputing the figures. Such must
be done under the watchful eyes of independent observers and
international community.

SIGNED BY
IBRAHIM MUSA
PRESIDENT MEDIA FORUM OF THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT IN NIGERIA
0805078 6093 28/04/16