The Kaduna State Government has on Monday said that the 347 persons killed during the December 12 deadly clash between soldiers and members of the Shiite’s sect in Zaria, were given a secret mass burial at the Mando cemetery on December 14, 2015.
This disclosure was made by the Secretary to the Kaduna State Government, Mallam Balarabe Lawal, during government submission at the ongoing public hearing of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the clash.
The SSG, who led six government witnesses before the panel, said a total of 191 unknown corpses were recovered from the Army Depot in Zaria and another batch of 156 corpses were recovered from the Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika.
Speaking similarly with the SSG, the Director-General of Interfaith, Muhammad Namadi Musa said the mass burial was conducted on December 14 and 15, respectively, and it took the officials about six hours to complete the burial.
Musa said, “On December 13, 2015, I received a phone call from the SSG to come to the Government House after which I was directed to go to Zaria to find out the number of corpses and how they would be buried.
“I moved in company of the state Commissioner of Police straight to ABUTH, Zaria to ascertain the number of corpses. There we counted 156 corpses.
“At the Nigerian Depot, the SSG directed me to meet with one Maj. 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.
“He also confirmed the number while they were being buried; as he counted them one after the other as they were laid in one grave.
“We left the Nigerian Army Depot with three heavy-duty trucks and 60 young officers who escorted us to assist in offloading the corpses. From ABUTH, Zaria, five small trucks carried the 196 corpses. Most corpses were covered with black materials and they included women and children.”
On why the state government demolished the Gyelasu resident of the Shiite leader, the witnesses said that the demolitions were based on recommendations of a committee set up by the state government.