By NBF News

Individuals and groups yesterday submitted about 200 memoranda to the Lemu Panel sitting in Kaduna for public hearing into the 2011 post-election violence in the state. The panel sat under tight security, with anti-bomb experts, security operatives and armed soldiers subjecting everybody, including members of the panel to security scanning and scrutiny.

Speaking at the inauguration and public hearing, the Chairman of the panel, Sheik Ahmed Lemu, stressed that it was out to do justice to all the victims of the crises, not to witchhunt anybody. He said the panel would resume sitting on Saturady and spend the next 10 days in the state. He allayed the fear of the people that the panel might be used by powerful individuals, saying that nobody, no matter how highly placed in the society, could manipulate the panel.

Sheik Lemu pointed out that the 22-member panel was divided into three bodies to hasten the investigation into the violence, adding that each body would spend 10 days in its zone. The three zones are Maiduguri, Kaduna and Akwa Ibom.'I want to make one thing clear to everybody here; our panel is not a witchhunting panel, we are not a judicial commission; no, we are to investigate and all the names that are found cannot be hidden.'You can hide a hole or ditch, however big, but you cannot hide a mountain however small. Nobody can use us for selfish reason. So be rest assured. Whatever you cannot say publicly for fear of any kind put it into writing to us.

'Nigeria belongs to all of us and even in your family, you have to learn how to live together not as necessarily the same ethnic group but the same everything, brothers and sisters, wives, sons and daughters. We have to learn to live together for the common good of Nigeria. That is the task before us.'The panel is to ascertain the number of persons who lost their lives and property during the violence.

The panel is to identify the spread and the spate of loss and damage to the means of livelihood and access the cause of the damage to personal and public property and places of worship and to make appropriate recommendations to Mr. President.

'The panel is out to investigate the sources of weapons used in the unrest, and recommend how to stem the tide of illegal flow of such weapons into the country and finally to examine any other method instrumental or relevant to the unrest. And advise the Federal Government appropriately.'