The Senate has set up a panel to investigate the bloody clash that ensued at the weekend between the Shi’ite sect and soldiers in the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, in Zaria, Kaduna State.
Records from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Zaria, put the number of the Shi’ite sect shot dead by soldiers at 61.
The Senate announced the decision to conduct the investigation after a closed session on Wednesday.
The session was said to have discussed the dangers inherent in the constant clashes between the sect and security agencies.
Consequently, the Senate set up an ad hoc committee, with members drawn from seven standing committees of the upper legislative chamber. The committee is mandated to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the latest conflict.
The Senate committee chairman on Defence, Senator Ahmed Lawan, is chairing the ad hoc committee.
The seven standing committees charged with the investigation are those of Intelligence and National Security, Judiciary and Human Rights, Army, Police Affairs, Internal Affairs, and Foreign Affairs.
The panel is also mandated to examine allegations of breach of the law and certain provisions of the constitution.
Commenting on the matter at plenary, the President of the Senate, Dr. Bukola Saraki, expressed regrets at the loss of lives and destruction of property during the encounter.
He enjoined all parties involved in the crisis to maintain peace while the investigation lasted.
“The Senate is seriously concerned and committed to ensuring that peace reigns in our dear country and will act in accordance with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria at all times,” Saraki said.