- The family's of former Head of State, Murtala Muhammed, has sought justice for their son's murder 25 year after his death
- Zackari Muhammed, late Murtala's son, was shot dead on August 13, 1993 in Abuja
- It was gathered that he was 27 years old at the time of his gruesome murder
The family of the late former Head of State, General Murtala Muhammed, on Monday, August 13, called on the National Assembly to enact a victims’ rights law.
The Punch reports that daughter of the late Head of State, Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, who made the call in Lagos, said that this would give protection to future victims of heinous crimes.
NAIJ.com gathered that that she spoke at a special prayer organised by the family to mark the 25th remembrance of the murder of the late Zackari Muhammed, son of the late Head of State.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the family members, including brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces, among others, held special prayers for him simultaneously in Lagos and Abuja.
NAN recalls that Zackari, a finance graduate of the University of Canterbury in Kent, was shot dead on August 13, 1993 in Abuja.
He was 27 years old at the time of his gruesome murder.
“In order to give protection to future victims of such heinous crimes and as a remembrance to our brother, we want to call for the enactment of victims’ rights legislation.
“Such law will ensure that the rights of victims of all crimes are protected in criminal prosecutions,” Muhammed-Oyebode said.
She decried the manner in which the case was handled, insisting that it left the family seeking justice.
“The case was shrouded in confusion and the way and manner it ended is an obvious injustice.
“Exactly 25 years ago today, our brother’s life was fatally cut short.
“In spite of knowing who the perpetrators were, all efforts to prosecute the matter did not pass the initial investigation and arraignment.
According to her, such law will ensure that the rights of victims of all crimes are protected in criminal prosecutions.
“All around the world, victims’ rights have been acknowledged as a basic human right.
“As far back as 1985, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Basic Principles of Justice for victims of crimes and abuse of power; so, it is time for Nigeria to adopt a victim-centric approach to criminal justice.
“Until such legislation is enacted, many of such crimes will continue to remain unsolved, and it will encourage unlawful killings and criminal impunity in our nation.
“In the crime of murder in particular, where the primary victim has been killed, the secondary victims must be able to have the legal support to seek justice and push the prosecution to its logical conclusion,” she further said.
Muhammed-Oyebode, however, described the late Zackari as a kind and very considerate son and brother, whose passion for the family and for his nation was unquantifiable.
“We miss his laughter too,” she added.
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Muhammed-Oyebode said that the 25 years remembrance include support to his Alma Mater, King’s College, Lagos, with academic resources in his memory. (NAN)
Meanwhile, NAIJ.com had previously reported that General Muhammed was assassinated on his way to work in Lagos state during an abortive coup led by Lt-Colonel B.S. Dimka on February 13, 1976. In the short time of his reign Muhammed's policies won him broad popular support, and his decisiveness elevated him to the status of a folk hero.
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