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Apo Killing: Senate Assures Witnesses Of Protection

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Senate President David Mark said on Wednesday in Abuja that witnesses who come forward to testify in the Apo killings of September 22 would be adequately protected.

Mark gave the assurance at the beginning of investigations into the cause of the killings by the joint Senate Committees on National Security, Intelligence and Judiciary.

About 10 occupants of an uncompleted building behind Apo Legislators quarters were killed in September when security operatives invaded the building.

Security agencies said members of the Boko Haram sect were suspected to be staying in the building.

Following a motion on the incident sponsored by Sahabi Ya’u, a senator from Zamfara State, the Senate mandated the joint committee to investigate the cause of the killings.

In his remarks, while declaring the hearing open, Mark pleaded with Nigerians who had facts about the incident to “freely come forward” with such information.

“This is not the time for blame game. It is time to find facts. We must hear from all sides of the divide so that we can establish the truth and proffer solutions to the crisis,” the said.

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Mark added: “I want to plead with all witnesses to come forward with facts; I want to assure them that the Senate will give them adequate guarantee,” he said.

The Senate President gave the assurance that the findings would not be swept under the carpet, saying that members of the committee were open minded.

“The Senate and indeed the National Assembly will ensure that facts are not shrouded in secrecy and we shall encourage all witnesses to be frank,” he added.

Earlier, chairman of the joint committee, Mohammed Magoro, from Kebbi State, promised that the committee would be honest, just and fair in carrying out its assignment.

“We cannot manufacture any information. We shall ask questions from all those involved. Security agencies and stakeholders will appear before us and after, we shall visit the site,” he said.

The hearing, which later went into a closed session, was attended by the National Security Adviser, Sambo Dasuki, a retired colonel; Chief of Army Staff, Azubuike Ihejirika, a lieutenant general and the Director of State Security Service, Ita Ekpeyong.

Others are the representatives of the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar; Commandant General, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Ade Abulorin, and Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Bem Angwe.

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