FG inaugurates panel to probe alleged rights violations in counter-insurgency
The Federal government through the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday inaugurated a special investigative panel to probe alleged cases of human rights violations in counter-insurgency in the North East.
Tony Ojukwu (SAN), Executive Secretary of the NHRC while inaugurating the panel in Abuja tasked the members drawn from major professional bodies to work assiduously towards meeting the terms of reference.
The special investigative panel headed by a former Justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Abdu Aboki, was charged to, “Investigate allegations of gross violations of national and international human rights laws/principles alleged against the Nigerian Armed Forces in the three reports by Reuters. (Sections 5(a)(b)(j) and 6(1)(a) of the NHRC Act, 2010).
“Receive memorandum from individuals and organizations with interest in the subject matter of the mandate of the SIIP North-East, especially human rights, security, and humanitarian organizations working in the North-East.
“Make appropriate determinations as to the culpability of individuals or institutions as may be deemed necessary in each circumstance. (Section 5(j) of the NHRC Act 2010).
“Make determination as to the damages or compensation payable in relation to any violation of human rights where it deems this necessary in the circumstances of the case (sec. 6(e) of the NHRC Act, 2010).
“Refer any matter of human rights violations requiring prosecution to the Attorney General of the Federation or of a State, as the case may be. (Section 5(p) of the NHRC Act, 2010)”
Responding, the chairman of the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter-Insurgency Operations in North-East Nigeria (SIIP North East), Justice Abdu Aboki JSC ( Rtd) promised to do substantive justice to the task.
He said, “Our Panel will endeavor in every respect to abide by the rules of natural justice. We will be fair and just to all manner of persons who appear before us as victims, witness, respondent, Officer, Counsel, and citizens.”