Written by Williams ABAH

Kajuru killings: Civil society group demands justice

The Joint Action Civil Society Crisis Centre has decried the unabated violence in Southern Kaduna, particularly in Kajuru local government area of the state, just as the group calls for a balance in the scale of justice to forestall further break down of law and order. 

At a press briefing in Abuja, the group noted that shortly before the last general elections, they released a press statement calling for caution and a thorough investigation of the killings in Kajuru following the state government's pronouncement of the death of 66 persons. 

One of the members of the group, Agnes Ogugua said "At that time, we warned that should the scale of justice remain skewed, it would only perpetuate the cycle of violence and worsen the already fragile peace in Southern Kaduna, especially as it was unfolding within the context of the general election" 

She stated that the group is dismayed to note that following that incident, the breach of the fragile trust in the community has led to further deaths and reprisals. 

Ogugua noted that more alarming was the stance of government in addressing the crisis. 

According to the group, "We have observed and documented several instances of the threatening, victimization, and arbitrary arrests of activists and the community leaders of Adara. We have noted the arrest of the entire leadership of the Adara Development Association with the exception of James Auta, Sebastine Barde, Bitrus Maiwando, Augustine Jankaro and Luka Waziri. 

"The above named are also being sought to be arrested on the simple basis of their affiliation and not for any crime committed. We have also documented evidence with grave concern, the arrest and detention without trial of 23 under aged persons from Adara community who have been in detention since September 2018" 

The leader of the group, Prof. Chidi Odinkalu had in a statement reiterated that skewing the scales of justice will serve no good to the ongoing crisis and in the long run, will not benefit anyone. 

He said "We therefore call on the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari, to set up an independent panel of inquiry into the crisis. We calls on the Service Chiefs to ensure that law enforcement acts is seen as acting impartially in the ongoing crisis." 

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