Kaduna State Government is confident that the quality of the membership and the leadership of the Commission of Inquiry that will look into the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) strike of May, will find answers to the key questions that have occupied the minds of its citizens.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai who made this known after swearing six out of the seven members of Commission of Inquiry, said that the seventh member, Dr Nasirudeen Usman, is on an official assignment in Qatar.
The governor said that the chairman and members ‘’were carefully selected, to look into this event and give us factual and legal recommendations as to actions that the federal government as well as the state government may need to take, to ensure that no state in Nigeria, and in particular the people of Kaduna state, do not have to go through what they went through in the four days, starting from the 16th to the 19th of May 2021.’’
It will be recalled that Kaduna State Government had earlier announced Justice Ishaq Bello, a retired Judge, as the chairman of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry to look into the NLC strike of May 2021.
The statement which was released on July 6, mentioned former Attorney-General of Cross River state Eyo Ekpo and Mrs Joan Jatau-Kadiya, ex Attorney General of Kaduna state as members.
The statement which was signed by Special Adviser on Media and Communication, Mr Muyiwa Adekeye, listed former Assistant General Secretary of NLC and Deputy National Secretary of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) Chom Bagu as a member of the commission.
Adekeye listed other members of the commission to include AVM Rabiu Dabo, Dr Nasirudeen Usman and Malam Mohammed Isah Aliyu.
The Special Adviser stated that ‘’the Judicial Commission of Inquiry is constituted based on the 1999 Constitution and the Commissions of Inquiry Law CAP 34, Laws of Kaduna State1991.’’
According to the statement, the Inquiry has 14 terms of reference which include ‘’ to ascertain the legality of the warning strike, the actions of various persons and organisations.
Adekeye added that the commission should also ‘’determine whether such actions amount to any breach of the Trade Union Act, the Trade Disputes Act, the Trade Disputes (Essential Services) Act, the Miscellaneous Offenses Act, the Quarantine Act, the Public Health Law and Penal Code Law of Kaduna State and other laws.’’
‘’The Inquiry will also ascertain the economic losses incurred during the strike, assign responsibility for actions and make recommendations for appropriate actions, including civil remedies, criminal prosecution and policy measures,’’ he said.
Responding on behalf of other members, Justice Bello said that he and other members of the commission have accepted their appointments, describing the appointment as ‘’an exceptional opportunity to serve humanity.’’
‘’Essentially, the intendment is to avert possible rancour in the circle of this very community that we cherish. And indeed, at the end of the day, if our findings and recommendations are so articulate, they may serve as remedy, or even be a point of reference to other communities as best practices that will address disputes in whatever form they may come,’’ he said.