Jega’s Brother, Justice Alkali Among the Dead in Hajj Stampede
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mahmud Mohammed, Saturday, disclosed that two Court of Appeal Justices were among those that died during the stampede that led to the death of over 700 persons at Mina, Saudi Arabia on Thursday.
In a statement, the CJN, gave the names of the deceased Justices as Abdulkadir Jega who is the Presiding Justice of the Abuja Division of the appellate court and Justice Musa Hassan Alkali of the Ilorin Division.
Justice Mohammed, in a condolence message to their families, the Court of Appeal, the Judiciary and the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said it was with a deep sense of shock but with gratitude to Almighty Allah that he learnt of the death of the two justices.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier said he was deeply saddened by the tragedy which occurred on Thursday in Saudi Arabia, in which over 700 pilgrims, including some Nigerians died in a stampede following the Stoning of Devil ritual. This was even as Saudi authorities confirmed that they will review the operations of the Hajj. They blamed the conduct of African pilgrims for the stampede that claimed hundreds of lives and have launched an inquiry into the incident. This year’s Hajj in the Holy Land had been bloody. No fewer than 87 people died in the early days of the pilgrimage when a crane collapsed at a mega mosque.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President described the stampede at Mina, in which a notable Nigerian journalist, Hajiya Bilkisu Yusuf, Prof. Tijjani El-Miskin and others lost their lives as a monumental tragedy, not only for citizens of the countries involved, but for the global Islamic community.
He extended his condolences to the families of the over 700 pilgrims who lost their lives in the disaster which occurred less than two weeks after a crane collapse in Mecca claimed more than a hundred lives. The statement read in part: “President Buhari commiserates with the Nigerian Guild of Editors and the Nigerian Union of Journalists on the sad loss of Hajiya Bilkisu, an exemplary, dedicated, knowledgeable, very credible, highly-respected, outstanding editor and columnist who, even in death, will remain a glittering role model for journalists, within and outside Nigeria.
“The President has taken note of the assurance by the Government of Saudi Arabia that Thursday’s catastrophe will be investigated and urges King Salman to ensure a comprehensive and thorough exercise that will identify any flaws in Hajj organisation with a view to avoiding a recurrence of such tragedies during the annual pilgrimage.
“In the knowledge that it is not within our powers to question the will of God, President Buhari prays that Almighty Allah will comfort the families who lost their beloved ones in the stampede and receive the souls of all those who died in the Holy Land while fulfilling the religious obligation of the Hajj.”