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JOS CRISIS: NBA SEEKS UN INTERVENTION

By NBF News

Worried by the ethnic crisis that had claimed several lives and property in Jos, the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has called on the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights to intervene in bringing about an end to the genocide.

Also invited by the NBA was the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake an urgent mission of investigation and assistance to Jos. This was disclosed by the outgoing First Vice President of the NBA, Ikeazor Akaraiwe in Abuja at the weekend.

He said the people and victims in Jos deserve to know the truth as to what had happened to their communities and their loved ones and government had the responsibility to take every step within its powers to ensure that this happens.

Accordingly, the body said it has instructed its human right institute and SPIDEL to work together with the Jos Branch to provide a report of pending proceedings arising from the Jos crises and to formally instruct its counsel to enter appearance for monitoring purpose on behalf of the NBA in all cases of pending or ongoing legal proceedings arising from the Jos crises.

Speaking on the crisis, Akaraiwe said ' In furtherance of the fact-finding mission and the nature and scale of the atrocities in Jos, the NBA came to the view that the situation requires international attention and assistance. Under the mandate of NEC, the NBA-HRI [Human Rights Institute] has formally written to invite the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights, the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide and the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to undertake an urgent mission of investigation and assistance to Jos.

He said the National Executive Council (NEC) of the NBA had condemned unequivocally, the atrocities committed in Jos and transmited to all the victims and their families, the heartfelt condolences and solidarity of men of the legal profession in Nigeria. 'The NBA also urges the Federal and State Governments to urgently bridge their differences in ensuring more effective protection of all persons living in Jos.'

He said one of the regrettable things in Jos was the lack of political will to bring suspects to book. Since the outbreak of the first violence in 1994, is it not scandalous that there has been no trial of even one alleged miscreant? the body asked.

The NBA had also set up a Monitoring Committee to monitor the trials of the 80 alleged miscreants so far charged and was in the process of procuring certified true copies of the charge sheets, 'It is important that the perpetrators of the atrocities in Jos should be identified and punished in accordance with the law. To facilitate this, proper investigation is required to identify and collect evidence and establish the truth of what had happened.'