Amnesty Report: Military Bemoans Troops Withdrawal For Investigation
THE withdrawal of some troops for forensic investigation into allegations of gross human rights abuses and extra judicial killings leveled against the Nigerian Army by Amnesty International is affecting the war against terrorists in the North-East.
The Chief of Administration of the Nigerian Army, Major General Adamu Abubakar disclosed this yesterday in Abuja while briefing journalists in reaction to the report by the rights group.
“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,” he said.
Abubakar noted that it would take a while for the result of the investigation to be ready and urged the rights body to be patient. He noted that the allegations were a rehash of the same allegations made against the military since 2011, saying, “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 added: “It took Amnesty International from 2011 to 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 investigators 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 set up two Joint Investigation Teams (JIT) to investigate, screen and categorise suspected insurgents in detention.
Out of the 504 suspects screened, prima facie cases was established against 350 suspects and were recommended for trial the Federal High Court, their case files were forwarded to the office of the Attorney- General and Ministry of Justice.”
Abubakar said 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 underage, women and children, who were all given a token of N100,000 by the authorities of the Nigeria Army.
He emphasised that the Nigerian military is a conventional and professional military that is driven by international standards and best practices. “The Nigerian military is open to genuine criticisms and allegations but it requires time and patience to report back,” he said.
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