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Murtala Muhammed’s family urges National Assembly to enact Victims’ Rights Laws


• Mourns Zackari 25 years after assassination

Family of the late former Head of State, Gen. Murtala Muhammad (rtd) has called on the National Assembly to enact the Victims’ Rights Laws, which would protect the rights of victims assassinated in heinous crime.

Making the call yesterday 25 years after the assassination of the eldest son of the former Head of State, Zackari, who was murdered at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja in 1993, elder sister of the deceased, Mrs. Aisha Muhammed-Oyebode, during a prayer organised to mark his remembrance said: “The way at which the case of Zackari’s murder ended was shrouded in confusion and indicated obvious injustice.”

According to her, “25 years ago, our brother’s life was fatally cut short and despite knowing who the perpetrator was and all efforts to prosecute the matter, the case did not go beyond the initial investigation and arraignment of the suspect.”

Zackari, 27, was a graduate of the University of Canterbury in Kent, but was murdered on August 13, 1993, in Abuja. His remembrance would include supporting his King’s College Lagos with academic resources in his memory.She said that it is imperative for the National Assembly to fast track the Victims’ Rights Laws 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.She said such law is crucial at a time like this, because it is one way to ensure that the rights of victims of all crimes are protected in criminal prosecutions.

According to her, “All around the world, victims’ rights have been acknowledged as a basic human rights. As far back as 1985 the United Nations (U.N) adopted the Declaration of the Basic Principles of Justice for victims of crime and abuse of power. It is therefore time for Nigeria to adopt a victim centric approach to criminal justice and until such legislation is promulgated, many such crimes would continue to remain unsolved.”

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