Our attention has been drawn to the statement credited to the Special Assistant to the Minister of Interior, Mr Ime Unaowo Nta published in the Tribune Newspaper of 14th day of July 2014 , exonerating the Minister of Interior, Abba Moro, of all liabilities occasioned in the Nigerian Immigration Recruitment Stampede that occasioned the death of twenty young Nigerians while leaving several with varying degrees of injuries. We are aware that the senate has investigated this incident even if the full report is yet to be made public, also that testimonies during the senate hearing indicted the minister.
We also refer Mr. Nta to the proceedings of the House Committee on Public Accounts, chaired by Mr. Solomon Olamilekan, where the Board of the Immigration Service, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence, Prisons and the Fire Service, were invited to answer questions connected to the immigration recruitment exercise. At the hearing, the board revealed, at no time did it discussed or even approved recruitment exercise for immigration. A Commissioner on the board, Mr. S.D. Tapgun, testified before the House committee, saying “only Moro and his team of consultants could explain how they came about the exercise”. He further revealed, the Comptroller-General of the Nigerian Immigration Service was not involved in the recruitment exercise. He told the House, when we members of the board, learnt about the recruitment, we wrote the minister that we are not in support of engaging the services of a third party to conduct recruitment for the Immigration service but he ignored the letter and went ahead to engage the consultant. (Full proceedings available in Punch Newspaper of March 19th, 2014)
Mr Ime Unaowo Nta should also recall, following the board submissions before the House Committee, the committee resolved to summon Abba Moro to explain how he got the approval to conduct the exercise. However, Abba Moro appeared before the Public hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Interior. At the hearing, the Interior minister, Abba Moro claimed responsibility for the immigration stamped.  Also at the hearing, the Comptroller General of Immigration, David Paradang said immigration did not conduct the recruitment exercise. Corroborating David Paradang, Mustapha Zakariya, member the Board of Civil Defence, Fire, Immigration and Prison Services, alleged the signature in the agreement where the Interior Ministry and the Board agreed to engage the services of the Consultant, Drezel Technology Nigeria Ltd was forged.
We call on Mr. Ime Unaowo Nta and his cohorts to desist from hoodwinking unsuspecting Nigerians into believing the minister of interior, Abba Moro has been exonerated from all culpability in the immigration stampede. In other climes, Mr. Moro would have honorably resigned his position as minister of interior by now while a state devoid of impunity would have commenced prosecution of all those involved in the NIS stampede. Any attempt to rewrite history on the NIS stampede constitutes an insult on all the lives lost during the recruitment exercise as well as the generality of Nigerians watching and waiting for justice.
The National Assembly are the true representatives of the people, therefore should hearken to the voices of Nigerians, it is on this premise that we call on the Nigerian Senate to immediately make public their findings public on the NIS Stampede.
We call on the Nigerian Media as the fourth estate of the realm to continue keeping the NIS Stampede in the limelight, the lives of the NIS 20 must not be forgotten.
As citizens’ organizations, we charge Nigerians to demand accountability and justice for the death of over 20 Nigerians killed and others that sustained injuries during the NIS stampede.
Idayat Hassan Samson Itodo
Centre for Democracy and Development Say No Campaign