The Nigerian Army Monday denied before the commission of inquiry investigating the December 12-14 clash between the Army and members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, of handing over 347 corpses to the Kaduna State Government.
The Army though did not give actual figure of the corpses it released to the government, said it only handed a few corpses to the representative of the state government.
The government had said at previous hearing of the commission that at least 347 corpses were handed over to them by the Army for mass burial.
The Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Mallam Balarabe Abbas Lawal had at the previous sitting of the commission, said not less than 347 unknown corpses from the last December clash were given mass burial in Kaduna few days after the bloody clash.
Also, the Director General of Interfaith, Muhammad Namadi Musa, had concurred by claiming that he led the burial exercise of the unknown corpses and that it was carried out at 12 mid night and lasted up to 5:00am in the morning.
Musa said, “On 13th December, I received a phone call from the SSG to come to government house after which I was directed to go to Zaria to find out the number of corpses and how they would be buried.
“At the Nigerian Depot, the SSG directed me to meet with one Major Ogundare regarding the corpses there. After introducing myself, he refused to let me know the number; but later on, the SSG called me and told me the number.”
However, the Nigerian Army maintained on Monday that few corpses and not the 347 corpses were handed over to the government for burial.
At the resumed sitting of the Commission on Monday, a medical officer from the Nigerian Army Depot, Zaria, Major Uche Agulana told the Commission that contrary to the state governments claim that 347 corpses were buried in mass grave, he handed over few corpses to the representative of the state government.
Agulana, when cross examined by counsel to the commission to give the actual figure of the dead, said he did not keep the record of the deaths as according to him, he was busy at that time “trying to save lives that were brought into the hospital.”
Also, the General Officer Commanding, 1 Mechanized Division, Nigerian Army, Kaduna, Maj-Gen. Adeniyi Oyebade maintained that members of the Shiites attacked soldiers with dangerous weapons on that fateful day.
He added that it was that situation that prompted his men to apply relative force in order to restore law and order in the ancient city of Zaria.
When asked by Chairman of the commission why the army did not notify the Police during the incident on December 12, 2015, before invading the residence of the detained leader of the Shiites, Sheik Ibrahim El Zakaky, since the matter is a civil one, the GOC insisted that the police had no enough manpower to curtail the IMN members.
Besides, Oyebade maintained that Zaria fell under jurisdiction; it was his responsibility to maintain law and order in Zaria.