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Panel, army chide Amnesty International for alleged failure to honour invitation

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• Troops arrest two illegal ammunition dealers in Zamfara
• Detonate IED planted near IDP camp by B’Haram in Borno

The nine-man presidential panel of investigation set up to review compliance of the military with human rights obligations has condemned the failure of Amnesty International to appear before it.

At its sitting in Port Harcourt yesterday, Chairman of the panel, Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewill, said that the panel had invited AI to its sitting in Maiduguri but the organisation failed to sent a representative to substantiate some of the allegations it made against Nigerian army on gross human rights violation.

He, therefore, urged the AI to make itself available at the panel’s subsequent sittings in Kaduna, Lagos and Enugu.

Meanwhile, the army has said that the failure of AI to appear before the presidential panel is a vindication that its allegations are baseless.

The General Officer Commanding, 6 Division of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, Maj.-Gen. Enogbong Udoh, while making his presentation, stated that most of the allegations of wanton human rights abuses by the AI were bogus misrepresentation of facts.

He said it is heartrending for an organisation such as Amnesty International to level unsubstantiated allegations against the Nigerian Army.

In another development, troops of 1 Division, Nigerian Army, in conjunction with the Department of State Services (DSS), yesterday said they had arrested two illegal arms dealers along Funtua-Gusau road in Zamfara State.

A statement signed by Director of Army Public Relations, Brig.-Gen. Sani Usman in Abuja yesterday, said the suspects, Abdulkarim Jibrin and Suleiman, were caught driving a Golf Volkswagen car with registration number AWE-534-AA (Nasarawa) containing 1,479 rounds of 7.62mm (Special) ammunition.

Also, troops of 3 Battalion, 22 Brigade of the Nigerian Army on Operation Lafiya Dole have detonated an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) planted near Internally-Displaced Persons (IDP) camp in Rann, Borno State.

A statement signed yesterday in Abuja by Usman said troops on routine patrol discovered the IED, which had been planted long ago by suspected Boko Haram terrorists and it was safely detonated by the troops.



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