Fallout Of Amnesty Report: Army Cries Out Over Troops Withdrawal | Independent Newspapers Limited
Newsletter subscribe

News, Slider

Fallout Of Amnesty Report: Army Cries Out Over Troops Withdrawal

Posted: Jun 20, 2015 at 2:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Joe Nwankwo, Abuja


As reactions continues to trail the Amnesty International (AI) report that indicted some military officers of human rights violations, the authorities of the Nigerian Army has said the withdrawal of some troops for forensic investigation into allegations of gross human rights abuses and extra judicial killings by the group is taking its toll on the war against terrorists in the Northeast.

The Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Abubakar, stated this in Abuja on Friday while briefing journalists in reaction to the report by the rights group.

He said the group should show understanding as “the military is still conducting investigations on the Amnesty International’s allegations.”

His words; “in the course of forensic investigations, the withdrawal of troops from the frontline for investigation tends to dampen the morale of soldiers and distract ongoing operations against insurgents.”

Abubakar appealed that it would take a while for the result of the investigation to come out, and urged the body to be patient.

He however pointed out that the allegations are a “rehash of the same allegations made against the military since 2011. No new facts have been unearthed by Amnesty International to warrant their repeated allegations,” even though the figures of supposed victims have continued to increase.

He said; “it took Amnesty International from 2011 – 2015 to chronicle their allegations, they want the Nigerian Military to investigate and report immediately. The investigation is ongoing; Nigerians and the world at large will certainly be informed of the outcome at the end of the investigation.”

“It will be recalled that upon the written request from Amnesty International to the military to comment on the allegations, the military promptly commenced investigations into the allegations. Consequently, several investigations on these allegations are ongoing. Some investigations have turned in their preliminary reports, which have been acted upon. Some of the investigations could not be concluded due to the inaccessibility of the terrain due to the activities of Boko Haram terrorists.

“Similarly the Defence Headquarters has set up two Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) to investigate, screen and categorize suspected insurgents, in detention. Out of the 504 suspects screened, prima facie cases were established against 350 suspects and were recommended for trial by the Federal High Court, their case files were forwarded to the office of the Attorney-General and the Ministry of Justice.”

Abubakar stated that the result of the preliminary investigation in the former cases indicated that some of the detainees released to the Borno state government last year were underaged, women and children, who were all given a token of N100,000.00 by the authorities of the Nigeria Army.

He also said that some other interest groups like the Nigerian Senate and the National Human Rights Commission have also conducted independent investigations on allegations of human rights violation against the Nigerian Military and the Human Rights Watch had to recant their earlier allegations after a thorough investigating.

He emphasized that the Nigerian military is a conventional and professional military that is driven by international standards and best practices, therefore “the Nigerian military is open to genuine criticisms and allegations but it requires time and patience to report back”, he said