MURIC QUESTION’S LALONG’S SINCERITY IN ALKALI CASE,
An Islamic human
rights organisation, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has cast doubts on the
sincerity of Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State in the trial of suspected
killers of Major General Idris Alkali (rtd). The group has therefore asked both
the state government and the Nigerian Army to tell Nigerians the latest
developments in the case.
This was revealed
in a statement circulated to the media on Saturday, 28th August,
2021 by the director and founder of the group, Professor Ishaq Akintola.
Idris Alkali (rtd) went missing on 3rd
September 2018 while travelling from Abuja to Bauchi via Jos. His vehicle was later
recovered from a pond in Dura-Du in Jos South on 29th September 2018
while his body was found more than one month later (on 31st October)
in an open well in Guchwet village of Shen district in Jos South Local Government
Area after an intensive search. He was later buried in Abuja on 3rd
“It is interesting to note that the locals, both men and
women, had played a conspiratorial role in the whole drama. Attemps were made
to stop the army from conducting a search for the missing general. Half naked women
demonstrated in Jos against the search.
“They claimed the army was
profiling the Jos population whom they claimed was ‘innocent’. This caused a
lot of delay. It also explains why it took so long to find the body in a well (more
than a month) after discovering the general’s car underneath a pond.
“This background, particularly
the deceitful and hypocritical role played by the people of Jos, will enable us
to understand where Governor Lalong is coming from. The cover-up abracadabra
displayed by the women was a mere prologue. The governor is now writing the
epilogue by manipulating the judiciary.
“According to unofficial reports reaching our office, the case which was
formerly being handled by Justice Danile Longji, is now before Justice Ashom at
the Jos High Court. This is because the former judge retired last year.
“Legal experts know what this
means. Cases that are designed for endless and inconclusive trials are usually
handled this way. The state government knew very well that Justice Longji was
about to retire. It also knew that cases being handled by retiring judges have
to be reassigned to other judges who will have to start de novo.
“But why assign a case of such gravity to a judge whom the state
government knew was about to retire? There is every reason to suspect delay
tactics in the Alkali murder case.
“Another deliberate clog in
the wheel of justice was the grant of fiat to Joe-Kyari Gadzama (SAN), a private lawyer. Fiat is authority
given to a private lawyer to prosecute a criminal case on behalf of the state.
This has caused undue delay in the prosecution of the case. Several
adjournments have occurred at the instance of the prosecution.
“We put it to Governor Lalong that the Alkali case is being deliberately
delayed in the hope that the general public will lose interest in it and it
will subsequently be swept under the carpet. But Lalong has grossly
miscalculated. This is not just about General Alkali alone. Alkali may be an army
general but he was a Muslim and he was killed because of his faith, not because
of his profession.
“There has been a strong suspicion for a long time now that Jos is a
killing field for Muslim travellers. Thousands of Muslim travelers from North
and South who took that route are known to have gone missing in that area. Jos
is a zone of death. The murder of Alkali just happened to have been the last
straw that broke the camel’s back. The bloodthirsty killers in Jos were just
too clever by half.
“The recent killing of thirty
two (32) Muslim travelers who were going to Ikare in Ondo State on Saturday, 14th
August, 2021 is another pointer. It shows that killers of Muslims have not
reneged. The five buses which conveyed those killed would have been driven and
pushed under the huge ponds of Jos, never to be seen again, had security agents
not raced to the scene of crime. This is why Nigerian Muslims are eager to know
how the Alkali case is progressing. Our collective safety on Jos roads lies in the
outcome of that case.
“We recall that several
vehicles were also found beneath the same pond in which the general’s car was
found. Among the vehicles was an 18-seater bus. Where were the occupants? Where
were the owners of several other vehicles found inside the pond? Their
ethnicities may be in doubt, but we do not have to guess their religion.
“Muslim travelers have been murdered in cold blood in their thousands in
Jos. Here is concrete evidence of the killing of Muslims in large numbers in
Nigeria but America is only interested in making noise about phantom killing of
“It is noteworthy that there are hundreds of ponds like this littering
the Jos metropolis. How many vehicles have been sunk under them? We may never
know. It took the army several days before the Alkali pond was drained and its
chilling contents discovered. It is just safe to conclude that thousands of
Muslims have disappeared in the Jos zone of death.
“Nigerians need to know the progress report in the Alkali case. The
unofficial report in our possession added that only five (5) or seven (7) of
those arrested were charged for murder. Others were merely charged for
obstructing public officers from carrying out their duties, (e.g. the woman who
led the protest in a bid to stop the Nigerian Army from conducting search), unlawful
assembly, conspiracy, silence and failure to report a crime to constituted
authorities. This second category were granted bail while those charged for
murder are still in ‘prison’. But how far is this unofficial report true?
“MURIC calls out the Plateau
State Government to speak up, to confirm or to deny our unofficial story. Why are we not hearing about
any updates on the trial of General Alkali’s killers? How many people are being
tried for the killing? How many were arrested ab initio? How many are on bail?
When is the next hearing? Who is the judge in charge and where is his court
located? The Plateau State government should speak up on this. Lalong should
show evidence that he has not interfered with the rule of law in Plateau State.
MURIC wants to know. Nigerians want to know.
“The immediate constituency and
employer of the late general, namely, the Nigerian Army, has a role to play
here. We are asking Army Headquarters for updates on the brutal killing of a
whole general of the Nigerian Army. Is army legal department abreast of
developments in the case? Did the Nigerian Army assign one of its lawyers to
attend the hearings? We want to hear from the Nigerian Army. An army general
should not just die unsong. It will forever constitute a stain on that great
“It is our duty as a human rights group to interrogate Lalong on the
killing of a whole general. Right to life is guaranteed by Section 33 of the
1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. But General Idris Alkali
was denied that right to life. That matter cannot end like that just because Governor
Lalong has gone to army headquarters in Abuja to beg the top hierarchy.
“Is the army developing cold feet on this case? Will any army general or
senior officer be safe again in this country? This is a man who served his country
meritoriously and rose to the rank of army general before retiring gloriously. The
trial of his killers deserves the army’s attention and concern.
“We therefore demand an
official statement from both the Plateau State Government and the Nigerian Army.
Tongues are wagging. Rumours are flying at the speed of light. Democracy
necessitates transparency. Nay, democracy is a toothless bulldog in the absence
of justice and justice delayed is justice denied. Failure to give an update on
the Alkali affair will be interpreted to mean somebody somewhere is hiding
something. Is Simon Lalong listening?”
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)