Tudun Biri community disowns N33bn suit as army begins investigation

Gov Uba Sani of Kaduna State.
Gov Uba Sani of Kaduna State.
Tudun Biri community disowns N33bn suit as army begins investigation

The Defence Headquarters says it has opened an investigation into the December 3 accidental bombing of Tudun Biri community in Kaduna State, which claimed over 100 lives.

The Director, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. Edward Buba, in a telephone interview with this newspaper on Wednesday, said the investigation panel has eight senior officers.


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This was as the leadership of the Tudun Biri community in the Igabi Local Government Area of Kaduna State disowned the claim that the community had filed a N33bn lawsuit against the Federal Government.

This newspaper reports that the villagers were said to be celebrating Maulud when they were bombed in error by the Nigerian Army.

The Army took responsibility for the accident and apologised.

The defence headquarters spokesman, Buba, told our correspondent on December 5 that the military high command would probe the incident, adding that a panel would be instituted to look into the matter.

“Yes, the military will probe the incident. When the panel is set up, the details will be communicated accordingly, please,” Buba had said.

When contacted on Wednesday for an update on the matter, Buba said the Chief of Defence Staff, Gen. Christopher Musa, had set up the panel.

He said, “Kindly be informed the CDS has since set up an investigation panel, comprising eight senior officers, whose membership cuts across the six geopolitical zones of the country.

“The panel was set up on December 8, 2023. The outcome of their effort will be communicated in due course.”

Meanwhile, the leadership of the Tudun Biri community, on Wednesday, said they knew nothing about a N33bn lawsuit filed against the Federal Government by a supposed villager identified as Dalhatu Salihu.

Salihu had reportedly filed the suit before the Federal High Court in Kaduna, saying it was on behalf of the victims of the accidental bombing.

However, the leaders of the community and people directly affected by the incident, on Wednesday, disclaimed the suit when they visited Sir Kashim Ibrahim House in the state capital.

According to the community leaders, they were not aware and did not mandate anyone to file a suit on their behalf.

The community leaders, who said they didn’t know any Salihu in their community, said they were so far satisfied with the action of the Federal Government and the support rendered by the Kaduna State government.

Speaking during a thank-you visit to Governor Uba Sani of Kaduna State, the Village Head of Tudun Biri, Mallam Balarabe Garba, said, “We learnt that some people went to court on our behalf. We are not part of this; we didn’t support this and we didn’t send anyone to go to court.

“We are peaceful people and we don’t support taking the government to court. We are happy with the reaction of the Kaduna State and the Federal Government following the bomb incident.

“The Federal Government and the Kaduna State government took several measures and made promises, and we can only appreciate them for their support.”

The Chief Imam of Tudun Biri, Malam Ashiru Ja’afaru, expressed delight over the attention to the community during the unfortunate incident, adding that the community would support the government to fulfil its promises.

“We, the relatives of the people affected by the bomb incident, are here to meet with the governor of Kaduna State to express our appreciation to the Kaduna State government for its support.

“We didn’t mandate anybody to take government to court. Whoever did that is not from us; we didn’t know him and he is doing it without our permission. We urge the Kaduna State government to find him and let the law take its course,” he said.

In his response, the governor said several parties had made efforts to give the bomb incident religious colouration or politicise it, but that the community resisted the overtures.

“The gap between their church and mosque is less than 100 metres. The idea of anyone going to court on behalf of the family of the victims is not true. The community asked us to investigate the issue and anyone found wanting would face the law.

“We assured them that the Kaduna State government will continue to support them. We want to form a committee to decide how to share the money that has been donated to them by well-meaning Nigerians; we want them to bring five people from their community as members of this committee.

“The donations would go directly to the family of those who lost their lives and those in the hospital.

“We appreciate the family of the affected people for their resilience in resisting efforts by religious merchants who want to use this unfortunate incident to cause disharmony in our community.”


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