The Nigerian government has commenced hearing on alleged human rights violation by the armed forces, a top official said Monday.

Justice Biobele Abraham, Chairman of the Presidential Panel of Investigation, told reporters in Abuja, the country’s capital, that insurgencies, military and local conflicts were asymmetric and could not be executed according to any particular pattern.

He said the challenges inherent in the fight against insurgencies, militancy and armed local conflicts in Nigeria had led to allegation of non compliance with human rights obligations by the Nigeria army.

According to him, only a bold step by the Federal Government to ascertain the veracity of the allegations could assuage both the Nigerian public and the international community.

Abraham said the panel had received memorandum from across the country, adding that the panel would sit in each of the six geopolitical zones.

He said this was a unique opportunity for those with genuine and verifiable cases of alleged human rights abuses by the armed forces in the course of managing and containing local conflicts and insurgencies in the country.

On his part, Brig.-Gen. Yusuf Shalang, Director of Legal Service, Nigeria Army, said the setting up of the panel was a welcome development.

He said the panel would put paid to allegations of cases of alleged non compliance by the Nigerian armed forces to human rights.

He said the Nigeria army was prepared to answer the series of allegations against it; hence, it had set up a formidable legal team to defend it, adding that it would come out unscathed.

Earlier, Chisom Ihekwaba, Human Rights Agenda Network (HRAN), said there were complaints and evidences of human rights violation by the Nigeria Army, adding that the network would provide the victim for the panel to see.

She said the security of the victims needed to be guaranteed before HRAN could bring them as witnesses in the case.

Oti Ovrawah, Executive Secretary, National Human rights Commission (NHRC), lauded the government for the move by setting up the panel, adding that the commission would give its full backing.

The government had on August 11 set up a presidential panel of investigation to review compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/


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