June 18, 2009

Jos crisis: Gowon, others to appear before Bola Ajibola panel

Jos — Former Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon and former Plateau Governors, Chief Solomon Lar and Joshua Dariye, have agreed to appear before the Justice Bola Ajibola Commission over Jos crisis.

Their appearance before the commission, which was inaugurated by Governor Jonah Jang to probe the November 28, 2008 unrest in some parts of Jos North, is expected to hasten the peace process in Plateau State.

Ajibola, who said this in Jos yesterday, at a news briefing, added that the trio had agreed to appear personally and suggest ways of reconciling all the aggrieved persons during the crisis.

“Some of the cardinal measures to achieve its desired goals are to involve stakeholders in resolving the Jos crisis.

“It is gratifying to note that, they, (Gowon, Lar and Dariye), are willing to contribute ideas at a convenient time to be determined by the commission,” he said.

He said since the inauguration of the commission, it had been working earnestly to unravel the remote and immediate causes of the unrest.

According to him, the commission has so far received 217 memoranda with 219 exhibits from witnesses.

The chairman said the commission had in the past broken into sub-committees and treated 107 memoranda, while the remaining 100 memoranda would be treated as the commission progresses in its assignment.

Ajibola said 110 witnesses had so far appeared and given testimonies.

The former Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of Nigeria said on April 8, members were divided into sub-committees to consider the memoranda and examine exhibits tendered before the commission.
“The idea is to have a fair idea of the substance of this assignment.

“The remaining memos are based on the requests for claims, which we are already looking into,” Ajibola added.
He also said the commission would have another time to visit the affected areas to satisfy the request of many witnesses that appeared before it.

According to him, the commission has a list of those invited to come before it and give evidence based on accusations received from witnesses to ascertain their roles.

Ajibola noted that hearing was progressing satisfactorily, adding that the commission had received enormous facts about the unrest, describing the situation as enlightening.