JOS CRISIS 2008 AJIBOLA PANEL REPORT PART FOUR sign now

(ii) Another memorandum that came down heavily on the Police is memorandum JCI/J/25/2009 presented by Evang. Andrew N. Dalyop. The memorandum was presented on the 26th day of February, 2009 by Evangelist Da Andrew Dalyop who testified as Commission Witness No .8 (CW8). At page 2 of the memorandum, the witness stated among other things that:
after the election on Thursday, 27th November, 2008, meeting was held in the evening amongst representatives of the Christian and Muslims factions within Dogon Dutse Community.

Thereafter, the witness and one A.S.P Monday Davou (Rtd.) alongside Alhaji Isa Mohammed and Alhaji Bashiru Jibrin among other persons were delegated to meet the D.P.O of Nassarawa Police station to brief him of their willingness to come together and protect their Community in event of any crisis. The witness then went on to tell the Commission that the D.P.O assured them of his cooperation and willingness to protect their neighbourhood to ensure that there was no break down of law and order in the neighbourhood. This implied that the Police in that neighbourhood knew before hand that there was the possibility that there might be problem in that neighbourhood. However, the D.P.O. and the entire Police within the neighbourhood did nothing to avert the Unrest that engulfed the area on the 28th days of November, 2008. The witness also state in page 4 of Exhibit JCI/J/25/2009/1, that when the crisis erupted , the same D.P.O could not be reached and the people were left at the mercy of their rampaging Hausa/Fulani Muslim attackers. Their plight, was further worsened by the fact that the Policemen they met at station when they went for help told them that there was nothing they could do as the matter was out of their control. In his oral evidence, the witness reiterated his statement in Exhibit JCI/J/25 /2009 /1. The witness told the Commission that before the crisis, they reported to the DPO in Nassarawa Gwong and the Police therefore, knew that there was likelihood of a break down of peace. See the oral testimony of the witness in the Verbatim Report of the proceeding of the Commission for 26th February, 2009.
(iii) Memorandum JCI/J/38/2009, presented by the Middle Belt Forum, Plateau State Chapter, Jos, Nigeria is another memorandum that questioned the role of the Police, particularly, the Nassarawa Gwong Police Station. The memorandum was presented by Mr. Samuel Bulus Dawang, who testified as Commission witness No.95 (CW95) on behalf of the Forum. The Witness in his oral evidence told the Commission that prior to the day of Local Government Area Councils elections of 27th November, 2008, the members of his Community and himself noticed an unusual and unprecedented influx of strange persons posing either as water vendors, shoe shiners etc into Jos and some rural areas like his area, Kinga Village Naraguta. He added that when they noticed such influx of strange persons and vehicles into the town particularly in their area, they reported the matter first of all to the Police out-post in their area, Naraguta. The witness also told the Commission that when the crisis erupted, all their efforts to get the Police to come to their rescue proved abortive and requested that the Police be invited to give explanations for their attitude during the Unrest. See the Verbatim Report of the Proceedings of the Commission of 8th April, 2009 for the details of his testimony.
(iv) Memorandum No. JCI/J/132/2009 - This memorandum was presented by Jesus Total Liberation Mission, Jos. It was heard by the Commission on the 18th day of June, 2009 with Rev. Godwin Okeke, Senior and the Presiding Pastor, testifying on behalf of the Church as Commission witness No.113 (CW113). The witness at page 4 stated that the Jos Unrest of 28th November, 2008:
was also aided by the security lapses from the security operatives in the State.

He gave an example of the failure of the Police to help him when he reported to them, particularly, the Police patrol team he met on his way along Zaria Road and told them about what was happening to his Church, and requested for their intervention. According to the witness, the Police did not give him any attention and at the end, his church was completely destroyed by the Hausa/ Fulani Muslim youth attackers. Further more, in his oral evidence the witness confirmed what he had written in Exhibit JCI/J/132/2009/1 when he told the Commission that:
around 11:00 Oclock, I stopped them and told them what happened and if they could go there but none of them paid any attention..

(v) Memorandum NO.JCI/J/131/2009 by The Redeemed Peoples Mission, Jos, Plateau State. This memorandum came up for hearing before the Commission on the 16th day of July, 2009 and was presented on behalf of the Mission by one Rev. Vincent Nwachil, who testified as Commission witness 182 (CW182). The Church stated on page 1 of the memorandum:
some of the miscreants were putting on Police and Military uniforms as they unleashed terror by killing and injuring innocent citizens.
(vi) Memorandum JCI/J/147/2009 - Human Rights Watch. This memorandum was presented by one Eric Guttschuss on behalf of the Human Rights Watch on the 20th day of July, 2009 and it was tendered and admitted in evidence as exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1. He testified as Commission witness 195 (CW195). In Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1, Human Rights Watch accused the Police and particularly, the Mobile Police (MOPOL) of arbitrary killings and strongly urged that these allegations be investigated. At page 1 of Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1 Titled SUMMARY, the witness stated inter alia that:
in responding to the inter-communal violence, the Nigerian Police ...............were implicated in more than 130 arbitrary killings, mostly of young Muslim men from the Hausa/Fulani ethnic group..........

and thereafter, proceeded to urge the Commission to investigate the allegations. The details of the alleged arbitrary killings by the Police are chronicled in pages 8 to 14 of Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/9, where the witness gave what he called eye witnesses accounts of the alleged arbitrary killings by the Police, particularly, the MOPOL. The witness, in the first 2 paragraphs of page 8 of Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1 gave a total figure of 74 persons allegedly arbitrary killed by the Police. In the said pages 8 to 14 of Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1, Witness chronicled a total of 7 incidents of alleged arbitrary killings by the Police, according to him; these incidents were narrated to him by eye witnesses to the alleged arbitrary killings.
Before we proceed further with the evidence of this witness, we must first of all place on record here that the witness was not an eye witness to all the alleged arbitrary killings by the Police as in the course of the presentation of the Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1, the witness told the Commission that he was neither in Nigeria nor Jos on the 28th day of November, 2008, i.e. the day the Unrest erupted as he was in the US then and came into Nigeria about the 3rd day of December, 2008. In spite of this fact, throughout his narration of the alleged eye witness accounts of the alleged arbitrary killings by the Police, the witness did not mention the name of any of the eye witness to the alleged arbitrary killings.
In the course of his oral evidence, when requested by the Lead Counsel to the Commission to give the names of the said eye witnesses and also produce them to testify before the Commission of what they saw, the witness refused to disclose their names and also told the Commission that he was not in the position to produce them before the Commission to testify.
The Commission then proceeded and invited the relevant officers of the Nigerian Police to appear before it to defend their roles in the allegation of aiding and abetting or precipitating of the Jos unrest of 28th November, 2008 and also their dereliction of duty during the Unrest as alleged by the many witnesses that appeared and testified before the Commission. The Commissioner of Police, Plateau State Command, Jos, the DPO, Nigerian Police, Nassarawa Gwong, Jos, D.P.O Laranto Police station and the Officer in Charge Police Out-Post, Naraguta were all invited to appear before the Commission on the 31st day of July, 2009.
On the 5th day of August, 2009, the former Commissioner of Police, Plateau Command, CP Samson V. Wudah appeared before the Commission to present the response of the Police to the allegation levelled against it by the witnesses as earlier highlighted above.
In his written response dated 5th August, 2009, on the allegation of the failure of the Police to check alleged of influx of strange persons into Jos and its environs as made by witness in memorandum JCI/J/38/2009 (Exhibit JCI/J/38/2009/1), the Commissioner, who testified in camera for security reasons, denied that there was any wrong doing or security lapses on the part of the Police and referred the Commission to annexure A to his response, which according to him is the Operational Order NO. 2/2008 on which the whole of the election activities were anchored, including Police activities before, during and after the election The Commissioner also referred the Commission to paragraph 10 of his response titled Manpower Development/Police Action which he claimed had addressed the issue of perceived security lapses on the part of the Police. See pages 6, 7 to paragraph 1 of page 8 and page 9 paragraph 12 (a) of the response dated 5th August, 2009
The Commission having carefully listened to the oral evidence and clarifications made by the witness (CW211) and having also response, carefully read through the written response, found that the witness did not at all address the issues raised by CW.95 in Exhibit JCI/J/38/2009/1 on the alleged influx of strange persons into Jos and its environs prior to the Local Government Elections of 27th November, 2008. He did not tell the Commission whether he received the report and whether he directed his men to investigate same and what the outcome of the investigation was. From all indications, the Police did not take the report seriously and did not even investigate it. If the Police had taken time to investigate it, it was most probable that some people could have been arrested and this could shed light on any plot to cause mayhem. Their failure to do so indicates a security lapses on the part of the Police and a dereliction of duty. If the Police had acted promptly on such useful report, the Jos Unrest of November, 2008 could have been nipped in the bud. The Commission is of the view that the Officer in Charge of the Police out-post, Naraguta, where the report was made should be investigated for negligence and dereliction of duty. He did not appear before the Commission to answer to the invitation sent to him and the Commissioner of Police who appeared for all Police Officers invited did not address the issue raised against him.
In responses to allegations contained in memoranda JCI/J/131 /2009, and JCI/J/160/2009/1 Commissioner of Police, Plateau Command, Jos, CP Samson V. Wudah, CW.21 to a large extent, admitted lapses on the part of the Police but stated that such lapses were not deliberate but due to circumstances beyond the control of the Police. He attributed any lapses on the part of the Police during the period of the Unrest of 28th November, 2008 to logistics reasons, mainly inadequacy of rapid response facilities available to the Police to effectively respond promptly in crisis situations. This idea was so explained when he stated thus in pages 9 to 10 of his response:
There is no doubt that the situation that characterised every segment of other Government agencies in terms of adequacies also applies to the Nigerian Police Force. It is not an overstatement to state that Police inadequacies are glaring, particularly in terms of logistics, If there were enough vehicles and effective communication gadgets in the Command, the Command would have done better in managing the crisis.

In terms of manpower, the witness told the Commission that the Command had adequate manpower on ground as the Command was able to get enough men from other Commands to assist in managing the crisis. Here reference is made to pages 6 to 8 of the Response schedule 20 herein. He explained further that :
the Divisional Police Officers and Sector Commanders were given definite instructions to protect all places of worship during peace time and crisis periods as these have always been targets during ethnic, religious or political crisis in this Country..

However, the witness failed to tell the Commission either in his written response or oral evidence adduced in respect thereof, how many Mosques or Churches the Police sent Policemen to protect during the Crisis. From evidence of wanton destructions of Churches and from evidence to the effect that the only place of worship guarded by a combined team of Nigerian Army and the Police with armoured car permanently stationed there, was the Central Mosque, Massalachin Jumaa Jos, no other place of worship was protected by the Police or Soldiers.
On the issue of the failure of the Police to respond to distress calls while the crisis lasted, the witness blamed this on lack of mobility and other logistics. He stated categorically on page 10, paragraph (c) among other things as follows:
that while the attacks lasted, distress calls to the Police were not responded to is not true. As acknowledged above in paragraph 12 b , this incident happened spontaneously and because of lack of vehicles and other logistics, the Police could not reach every member of the society that made a distress call to it.

As in the case of allegations against the Police of their failure to protect places of worship, particularly, Christian place of worship, the witness in his defence did not tell the Commission the names or the numbers of the members of the society whose distress calls during the Unrest were attended to by the Police nor the areas where such calls emanated from and what the Police did in such situations.
The witness narrated their handicaps in terms of mobility for swift movement of security operatives to crisis spots, lack of Communication gadgets such as mobile phones, walkie talkies etc. He told the Commission that in the whole of Plateau Command, there are only 30 walkie talkies which are grossly inadequate for the Command to effectively communicate with the various Police stations, D.P.Os, Police out-posts both those within Jos metropolis and others in the other Local Government Areas of the State. He told the Commission that the Police Command Plateau State does not have up to 50 serviceable vehicles at it disposal to effectively respond swiftly in crisis situations
On the issue of allegation of the use of Police uniforms by persons posing as Police during the Unrest, the witness, C.W 211 admitted that:
it is common knowledge that Police uniforms and that of other services have been found in possession of criminals in this country in the past and will continue.

On the allegation of arbitrary killings by the Police based on an alleged shoot-on-sight order issued by Governor Jonah Jang of Plateau State, the witness categorically denied same and further told the Commission that the Governor has no such power to give the Police any order to shoot-at-sight. He added that the Police cannot be said to kill the same citizens they are under obligation to protect. He also insisted that the Police operated strictly within the Operational Order NO.2/2008 with reference NO. CJ.3919/PS/OPS/VOL.40/79 dated 25th, November, 2008 issued by the Police Force Headquarters in respect of the Unrest. See page 11 of the Witness response, schedule 20.
On the 7th day of August, 2009, the present Commissioner of Police Plateau State Command, Jos also gave evidence before the Commission and buttressed the assertion of CP Samson V. Wudah.
The Commission will now address the following questions:
i) Whether the Nigerian Police Plateau Command, Jos was aware that there was going to be break down of law and order in Jos North after the Local Government Elections held on the 27th day of November, 2008 despite the fact that the said Election was conducted peacefully without any problems and failed to take any steps to ensure that the Unrest did not occur?

ii) Whether or not there were any lapses and complicity on the part of the Nigerian Police, Plateau Command during the Jos Unrest of 28th November, 2008.

iii) Whether the Police was involved in arbitrary killings as alleged in Exhibit JCI/J/147/2009/1 above.

(i) From all the available evidence chronicled in the numerous
memoranda presented before the Commission and reviewed above and considering the oral testimonies of witnesses in support thereof, there is no doubt that the Local Government Elections held throughout the State on the 27th day of November, 2008 were peaceful and successful. The Commission is of view, however that after the Elections and during the collations of the Election Results, the Police was some how aware that there was possibility of a break down of law and order in Jos North Local Government Area. Commission witness (CW.211 that is, C. P. Samson Wudah on page 5 paragraph 9(i) stated inter alia that:
As early as between 0230-0330 hours of 28th November, 2008, information filtered to the Police that some moslem youths were holding nocturnal meetings at Moslem dominated areas.

And in paragraph 9(ii) CW211 stated thus:
Soon after, they were reported to be shouting Allahu Akbar along Ali Kazaure Street and other Hausa Muslims dominated areas in Jos North. It was further revealed that they mounted road blocks in some places. At about 0500 to 0530 hrs they attempted an incursion on the collation centre which was repealed by the Police..........

This piece of evidence from CW211 shows very glaringly that it was certain that there would be break down of law and order in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau after the Election was concluded while the results of the Elections were still being collated. All CW.211 could tell the Commission was that after the miscreants were repelled by the Police, they regrouped and attempted to penetrate the collation centre at Kabong, Gada Biu to attack the Police, electoral officials and destroy electoral materials but the Police drove them away and quickly evacuated the electoral materials and officials out of the collation centre to PLASIEC Headquarters, for safety. The witness did not tell the Commission of the steps taken to forestall a total break down of law and order due to the action of these miscreants. The Police had ample time to mobilize to effectively curtail the crisis from spreading but they failed to take adequate steps to ensure this did not happen. CW211 admitted that the Police received the information of the gathering storm at 230 - 033 hrs and furthermore C.W 202 had earlier told the Commission that the Hausa youth started gathering at about 11.45pm on the 27th day of November, 2008 from Evangel Hospital Road, towards the collation centre at Kabong. This claim also buttressed the earlier evidence of Mr. Nuhu Asama who testified as CW.96 on the 8th day of April 2009, in memorandum JCI/J/133/2009 presented by Bache Development Association, CW.96 who told this Commission that the Hausa youths/thugs came out about 11:30 pm in response to the alarm raised by one Hon. Nazifi by phone calls to some unknown persons to come out. The Commission is of the view that from that 11:00pm of 27th November 2008, when the first alarm was raised, if the Police had taken the matter seriously and quickly mobilized forces to the various flash-points like Ali Kazaure, Angwan Rogo, Gangare etc, the Unrest could have been nipped in the bud. CP Samson V. Wudah, simply told the Commission in his oral submission during cross-examination by a Counsel to the Commission that they closely monitored the situation until the eruption of the crisis. The Commission is of the view that the Police, in this regard, is guilty of dereliction of duty as they had knowledge of early warning signs of the Jos Unrest of 28th November, 2008 but did not take adequate steps to prevent it from happening.
From the evidence of CW.211, i.e. the former Commissioner of Police, CP Samson V. Wudah, there is no evidence of any Police posting to take charge of strategic locations, i.e. flash-points in Jos North Local Government Area which could have promptly quelled any uprising by undesirable elements while the results of the election were being collated and eventual announcement of such results. The Commission disagrees with the Police that they did everything possible to protect lives and properties during and after the Election.
(ii) On whether or not there were any deliberate lapses and complicity on the part of the Nigerian Police, Plateau Command during the Unrest, the Commission has considered and reviewed all the evidence placed before it. On alleged Police lapses during the Jos Unrest of 28th November, 2008 , for instance, the allegations by CW25 in Memorandum No. JCI/J/160/2009, Exhibit JCI/J/160/2009/1 that distress calls to the Police during unrest were not responded to, the Police admitted their lapses in this regard when in the response, the Police stated in page 10,paragraph (c):
.......this incident happened spontaneously and because of lack of vehicles and other logistics the Police could not reach every member of the society that made distress call to it.

Further reference to lapses on the part of the Police is contained in page 4 of Exhibit JCI/J/132/2009/1 wherein the witness stated as follows:
The Jos riot of November 28th was also aided by the security lapses from the security operatives in the State. For example, when I met the Police patrol team, I told them what was happening in the Church, that some people were in with guns and some ammunitions but they didnt give me attention. Consequently, the attackers had enough time to execute their evil plans by not only burning the church but pulling down the walls.

In this instant case where the witness met the Police face to face and even a patrol team and mobile too, the Police refused to attend to him. Could the Police say in this case too that this member of the society who saw the Police face to face and made a plea for assistance to save his Church could not be reached? This piece of evidence bring the Commissions memory back to the sad evidence of Mrs. Comfort A. Akinjogbin, who testified as Commission witness No.20 (CW20) on the 18th of March, 2009 in memorandum JCI/J/171/2009, wherein she narrated to the Commission how three corps members were slaughtered in their house and how, while the boys were in the pool of their own blood, she saw Police patrol team passed by in front of her house and pleaded with them to help her and the poor hapless corpers but the Police refused to give her any assistance. See paragraph 7 to 10 of page 4 of Exhibit JCI/J/171/2009/1 where the witness narrates her ordeal as follows:
...........then I saw a Police vehicle with many Police men and I cried and pleaded with the Police who were standing by , even rolling on the ground asking for help to take my boys to hospitals to save their lives but no response. Then two other Police vehicles filled with Police men came. I kept pleading but they claimed they were called at Congo and if I was not ready to leave with them immediately I could die with my three sons (i.e. the three NYSC members).

The evidence of C.W.8, Evangelist Da Andrew Dalyop in this regard is also relevant. This witness stated in his evidence contained in Exhibit JCI/J/25/2009/1 and oral evidence before the Commission that prior to the Election and the Unrest of 28th November, 2008, Christians and Muslims elders/leaders in their Community met to deliberate on the security situation in their area and after the meeting, he and other elders were delegated to confer with the Police D.P.O, Nassarawa Gwong Police Station to brief him of their suspicion of likelihood of the break down of law and order after the election and how they have decided to protect their neighbourhood against any breakdown of law and order. The witness went further to state that the DPO was quite happy with their information and plan and assured them of his support and cooperation in case of any eventuality.
However, the witness told the Commission that when the Unrest eventually broke out, the same DPO could no longer be reached and the other Policemen they met at the station told them that the matter was beyond them and so refused and failed to do anything.
The Commission holds that there were obvious lapses and dereliction of duty on the part of the Police. The Police failed to perform its duty of protecting lives and property effectively thus the magnitude of destruction of lives and property was worse than what it ought to have been if the Police had performed their duty promptly and effectively.
It is also the evidence that the Police alone could not curtail the Unrest until the Military had to be called in. CW211 stated in paragraph 11 titled Consultations in pages 8 to 9 of his written response that:
... it became imperative for more support from the Military........... From then, the Military and the Police jointly curtailed the situation from escalating to other Local Government Areas in the State.

From this evidence of CW211, it is clear that the Police could not curtail the Unrest as already admitted and earlier referred to at page 9 10 of his response.
As for the D.P.Os of Laranto, Nassarawa Gwong, Police Stations and the O/C in charge of Naraguta Police Outpost who all prior to the Unrest were duly informed by various witnesses before the Commission of the likelihood of the possible breakdown of Law and Order prior or after the elections of 27th November, 2008 but failed to take any reasonable steps to deal with the matter appropriately and cause thorough investigations which might have averted any uprising in the Jos North Local Government Area, they should be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted for dereliction of duty and if found guilty should be out rightly dismissed from service.
The activities of the former Commissioner of Police, Plateau Command, CP Samson V. Wudah before and during the crisis should be thoroughly investigated as there is evidence before the Commission that the Commissioner of Police then was being directed by Alhaji Ibrahim Dasuki Nakande on what to do and what not to do. (See memorandum JCI/J/206/2009 by Da Ezekiel D.J. Choji). And if found wanting, should be prosecuted for dereliction of duty and punished appropriately.

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