AI’s Report: We Have Nothing To Hide – Nigerian Army | Independent Newspapers Limited
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AI’s Report: We Have Nothing To Hide – Nigerian Army

Posted: Jul 5, 2015 at 7:30 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo, Abuja

The Nigerian Military High Command has declared that it has nothing to hide in respect of the Amnesty International’s reports indicting some serving and former military officers of abuse of human rights in the battle against insurgents in the North East of the country.

Speaking in Abuja when he appeared before the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the Chief of Army Administration, Major-General Adamu Baba Abubakar, said that the Nigerian Army being a creation of the Constitution is a law-abiding institution that values respect for the rights of Nigerians adding that their presence at the commission was borne out of respect for constituted authority.

General Abubakar said: “We are here this afternoon at the NHRC to discuss issues of mutual interest, the Armed Forces is a creation of the law and that is why we have also worked within the ambits of the law; we will always subordinate ourselves to the constituted authorities; we are willing to co-operate with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to show we have nothing to hide.”

The Executive Secretary, NHRC, Prof. Bem Angwe, said: “Recently, there has been a report issued by the Amnesty International that has generated a lot of concern to a lot of Nigerians, the government of Nigeria and the international community.

“This meeting is not aimed at singling out or laying emphasis on the Amnesty report, because as a national institution, we have the primary mandate of the Nigerian people to promote and protect their rights and it is in line with their mandates that we are beginning interactions with you with a view to addressing some of the issues which have arisen from some reports that we have received either internal from our offices in the North East not necessarily because Amnesty International had come out with a report.

“In the course of this action, we may touch on some of the issues they have raised and we will request them to prove some the issues they have raised in your presence. In that instance, you will have an opportunity to react to some of the issues they have raised in that report.”

Angwe noted that “your meeting with us demonstrates one principal fact that in a democratic Nigeria, nobody is above the law and that the Nigerian military had at no point in time pretended to be above the law.”

The Defence Headquarters had described the Amnesty International report that called for the prosecution of some senior military officers serving and retired over their alleged roles in participating in sanctioning or failing to prevent the deaths of more than 8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death as designed to blackmail the Nigerian Military.

In a statement signed by the Director Defence Information, Major-General Chris Olukolade, he stated that entire report was laced with bias and geared towards continued blackmail of the nation’s military.

The Defence Spokesman stated that “It is clear that Amnesty International (AI) becomes more active in presenting distractive allegations whenever the terrorists are losing ground in the battle.  It is very unfortunate that Amnesty International has used this report to further confirm its questionable interest in the counter-terrorism effort in Nigeria.”