Osinbajo Inaugurates Panel To Investigate Military Compliance With Human Rights Obligation

Human rights abuse: FG, Armed Forces must be conform to international best practices – Osinbajo

Human rights abuse: FG, Armed Forces must be conform to international best practices – Osinbajo

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Amnesty International has been alleging that the military had committed several human rights abuses relentless in its war against Boko Haram insurgency.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo has inaugurated a panel to investigate human rights compliance of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Nonetheless, there are series of allegations levelled against security forces by some local and global commentators capable of undermining the good works and efforts of the men and women of the armed forces, who have largely conducted themselves in a disciplined and professional manner, î†he stated.

"I would like to use this opportunity to assure the Armed Forces and all of our uniformed forces, that exercises such as this should be regular and would be regular, and must not be seen as a witch hunt and in any way to denigrate the very great work that the Armed Forces and uniformed forces are doing all over the country".

"Failure to examine some of these allegations will also leave those who may have been victims of such abuses without any recourse to justice".

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 worldwide humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations and make further recommendations in line with these terms of reference as may be deemed necessary.

"To make further recommendations in line with these terms of reference as maybe deemed necessary".

While charging members of the panel to discharge their duties diligently, impartially and with all sense of professionalism, he urged them to also collect information about the conditions of service of the armed forces or any other factors that might have hindered the optimal performance.

Members of the panel include Patrick Akem a retired major-general, Chief of Logistics, and commander of the United Nations forces in Somalia; Olawale Fapohunda, a former Attorney-General of Ekiti State; and Jibrin Ibrahim, a professor, civil society leader and noted academic.

It will be recalled that the Nigerian Army in February 2017 set up a seven-member "Special Board of Inquiry" to probe alleged cases of human rights abuse level against its personnel in the ongoing counter-insurgency operations. This 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.

Prof. Osinbajo challenged members of the 9-man panel headed by justice Biobele Georgewill to ensure that its mandate is adhered to.

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