Nasarawa Killings: Ombatse Kicks against Panel’s Terms of Reference

19 Jul 2013

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Governor Tanko Al-Makura

George Okoh

The Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up to probe the killing of security forces in Alakyo Village, Nasarawa State, was  Thursday told that it lacked the legal powers to carry out some of its assigned duties.

Recall that over 50 policemen and operatives of the State Security Services (SSS) were ambushed and massacred by members of the Ombatse Militia Group in Alakyo village, on May 7.
But the group denied complicity in the killings.

The state Governor, Tanko Al-Makura, had recently constituted a panel to unravel the causes of the massacre.

But the Legal Adviser to the Ombatse Militia Group, Zachary Zammani Alumugu, who spoke at the inaugural sitting of the commission in Lafia, contended that Ombatse was never banned.

Alumugu said what appeared to be preliminary objection was to enable the commission decide whether it was competent to adjudicate on some of the provisions contained in its terms of reference as regards the alleged proscription of Ombatse by the Nasarawa State Government in 2012.

He said: “I want to derail a little to comment on the setting up of this commission and its terms of reference particularly as it relates to the use of other laws.

“For instance, number two of the terms of reference mandates the commission to inquire into why Ombatse is still existing despite its proscription vide Nasarawa State Legal Notice No. 4 of 2012.

“With the greatest respect, I want to tell the commission that this law is fraudulently made. It has never been. The making of a law like this has procedures.

“You will have to set up either a District Judge or a Justice of the Peace to look into the problems of the people and thereafter agree and make recommendations.

“It is on the basis of that that the governor can make this law. That has not been done. The penal section that this commission has been asked to use, can only be executed by a district judge.

“If this commission uses that law, I want to ask, with what power? Are you clothed with the powers of a district judge or by the mere fact that you are a commission, you now assume other powers?

“Those two laws, with the greatest respect, are inappropriate as far as I am concerned. I am saying so because we don’t know where to go subsequently.”

Tags: News, Nigeria, Featured, Nasarawa Killings, Ombatse, Panel’s Terms

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