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Nigeria Masterweb News Report

    Exclusive: Abdulsalami Agrees To Testify

    (Saturday, August 11, 2001)

    By Chief Charles O. Okereke, Nigeria Masterweb

    General Abdulsalami Abubakar   Chief Moshood Abiola
    General Abdulsalami Abubakar     Chief Moshood Abiola    

    Reports reaching our news desk, indicate former Nigerian leader, General Abdulsalami Abubakar has agreed in principle to testify before the Human Rights Violation Investigation Commission( HRVIC ). General Abubakar was summoned to the commission on July 19 on matters relating to the July 7, 1998 death of Chief Moshood Abiola in detention. Two ex-leaders IBB and Buhari were also summoned at different times. General Ibrahim Babangida( IBB ) was summoned to testify on the 1986 parcel bomb death of renowned journalist, Dele Giwa. General Muhammadu Buhari summoned in connection with Decree 20 of 1984 under which Batholomew Owoh and others were executed for pushing hard drugs, and also summoned for the attempted abduction of Alhaji Umaru Dikko in a cage from Britain the same year. The three ex-leaders are all in contempt of the commission, and so far no bench warrants have been issued for their arrests. General Abubakar's promise to appear before the commission, if fulfilled will bring him in compliance with the rule of law.

    Many Nigerians are demanding tougher stance by the commission against these defaulting former leaders. General Abubakar, so far it seems, is the only one buckling under pressure of public opinion. IBB and Buhari are yet to show any sign of compliance. Justices Oputa, HRVIC chairman, vows that "nobody is a sacred cow because everybody is equal before the law." The entire world is waiting to see HRVIC's next move in the onerous assignment to reconcile Nigeria with its tormented past, and the healing of wounds.

    The Human Rights Violations Investigations Commission( HRVIC ) was set up in 1999, with a mandate to look back over a period of more than 30 years, and help the country come to terms with its past. The commission is to look at the shameful episodes in the country's history and make the protagonists accountable for their actions. In fact it was tailored after South Africa's Truth and Reconcilliation Commission.

    Related Story:   How they killed Abiola

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