Presidency Probes Army Over Alleged Human Rights' Abuses

Modesto Morganelli
Agosto 13, 2017

The acting president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated the presidential panel to review compliance of Nigeria military with human rights obligations.

The acting president said the Buhari Administration was committed to addressing all cases of extra-judicial killings, s*xual offences and all other forms of abuses in Nigeria.

He said: ìThis is why it is incumbent upon us, even as we maintain security, especially in conflict situations, to interrogate alleged crimes and human rights abuses by all sides of this conflicts and insurgencies.

"Nonetheless, there have been a series of allegations levied against security forces by some local and global commentators".

He, therefore, assured all the security agencies that the work of the investigative panel should not be seen as a witch hunt or an act aimed at denigrating the laudable work of the military.

"There have been a series of allegations levied against security forces by local & global commentators".

"And if history has taught us anything, it is that the failure of our justice system to adequately respond to crisis is usually a recipe for greater conflict".

"It is the responsibility of the Armed Forces and the responsibility of all of us who are in government to ensure that we interrogate our own activities and ensure that those activities meet up with human rights norms and basic rules of decency observed across the world". -Gen. Patrick Akem; Mr Wale Fapohunda; Mrs Hauwa Ibrahim; Mr Jibrin Ibrahim; Mr Abba Ambudashi Ibrahim; Mrs Ifeoma Nwakama as members while Dr Fatima Alkali will serve as counsel to the Panel.

The panel is also mandated to investigate matters of conducts and discipline in the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies; recommend means of preventing violations of global humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations and make further recommendations in line with these terms of reference as may be deemed necessary.

He further noted that the sterling qualifications of members of the Panel under the capable leadership of the Honourable Justice Biobele Georgewill, Justice of the Court of Appeal, is a strong indication of the quality of work that we expect of them.

The acting president said the armed forces should rest reassured that there is no witch-hunt against them and that it is in the interest of all that justice is done.

He called on all persons and or institutions affected or interested in one way or the other in any of the elaborate terms of reference given to the panel to seize the opportunity to present their grievances or cases or allegations and or defences, to enable the panel carry out very thorough review and investigations, in line with its mandate.

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