25th May, 2019
GEN ALKALI: NO HANKY-PANKY PLEASE
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has decried the shoddy manner in which the case of the gruesome murder of General Muhammad Idris Alkali (rtd) is being handled.
In a statement issued on Friday, 25th May, 2019 by its Founder and Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola, the human rights outfit expressed the fear that the late general’s family as well as the Nigerian Muslim community may not get justice eventually.
It will be recalled that the car of Late General Muhammad Idris Alkali (rtd) who had been missing since 3rd September 2018 was found at the bottom of the Dura-Du pond in Jos, Plateau State on 29th September, 2018 after searching for two months. His body was later found in a deep well located in Dura on 3rd November, 2018.
“There is no doubt that this was organized killing involving the Berom community. The melodrama acted out by Berom women who held a deceitful protest at the pond to dissuade the army from searching the site points to this fact.
“The Nigerian Police paraded nineteen (19) Berom suspects on television on 5th November, 2018. They were all arraigned before Justice Daniel Longji at the High Court Number 5 in Jos, Plateau State. But seven (7) of them were granted bail on 17th December, 2018.
“In our press statement dated 20th December, 2018, we denounced the bail so speedily granted and described it as a miscarriage of justice and a judicial namby-pamby. Almost six months on, the case is still shrouded in terra incognito. The public is not aware of developments although our investigation has revealed that the next hearing of the case is 16th June, 2019. Anyone who thinks the Alkali family and Nigerian Muslims have forgotten about this painful issue is living in self-denial.
“MURIC demands transparency in this case on the part of both the Nigerian Police and the Plateau State judiciary. There must be no attempt at sweeping the matter under the carpet. In particular, the police should clarify the number of those arrested and the number of those granted bail. Police should clear the conflicting figures. Exempli gratia, how many were arrested? Is it 19 or 28? How many were granted bail? Is it 7 or 20? The clarification should be given adequate publicity.
“In the same vein we charge the judiciary in Plateau State to conduct the case in the most professional manner and in accordance with the provisions laid down by the Nigerian Judicial Council (NJC).
“We also call on the security agencies to fish out the sponsors of the killings as well as the remaining suspects. Nobody should trivialise this issue because it goes beyond General Alkali. Hundreds of Hausa-Fulani and Muslim travelers had disappeared in the same zone and at least four other cars were found alongside the late general’s own. It is also an established fact that there are several other ponds in the area. Those ponds are also suspected to contain several cars belonging to Hausa-Fulani and other Muslim victims of heartless and inhuman killings in the hands of the Beroms.
“Therefore, the sponsors of Berom killers must be named, arrested and prosecuted. We reiterate that the Plateau crisis will continue to defy solution until the big guns behind the killings are dealt with the same way their errand boys are treated. There must be no sacred cows in this case. This is a matter of serious national concern. Therefore, there should be no hanky-panky.
“We remind all stakeholders that new killings will start in that zone again unless the killers of General Alkali are brought to book. The killings have lasted this long because nobody had actually been punished in past killings. Others will hesitate to kill once they realise that there are dire consequences.
Finally, we appeal to the family of the Late General Muhammad Idris Alkali as well as Nigerian Muslims in general to patiently await the outcome of the case. We advise the leadership of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah as well as the Muslim Lawyers Association (MULAN) to dispatch at least two senior Muslim lawyers to attend and observe all sittings on the case until it is finally decided.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)