Human rights abuse: Osinbajo constitutes panel to investigate Armed Forces

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

FG, military must adhere to human rights norms, says Osinbajo

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, has implored a Presidential Investigative Panel, to investigate activities of the armed forces, and ensure that those activities, meet up to human rights norms, observed across the world.

Speaking at the event, Osinbajo stated that the presidential panel was saddled with the task of investigating allegations of human rights abuses levelled against the military by Amnesty International.

"This is why it is incumbent upon us even as we maintain security especially in conflict situations to interrogate, as we go along on a regular basis, alleged crimes and human rights abuses by all sides in these conflicts and insurgencies", he said.

"There is no doubt that the nature of asymmetric or unconventional warfare that they have had to contend with presents unique challenges that most modern armies are ill-equipped to tackle with conventional warfare tactics".

"There have been a series of allegations levied against security forces by local & worldwide commentators".

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

"To investigate alleged act of violation of global humanitarian and human rights law under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended; the Geneva Convention Act, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Ratification and Enforcement Act and other relevant laws by the Armed Forces in local conflict and insurgencies".

" Three, to investigate matters of conducts and discipline in the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies; to recommend means of preventing violations of global humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations".

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

Responding on behalf of other members of the panel the Chairman, Justice Biobele Georgewill assured they will put in their best in order to uphold the confidence reposed on them by the government.

Osinbajo enjoined the panel to also look into the conditions of service of the armed forces or any other factors that might have hindered the performance of the military in the ongoing fight against insurgents, militants and other combatants with a view to addressing them.

The acting president said the armed forces should rest reassured that there is no witch-hunt against them and that it is in the interest of all that justice is done. Jibrin Ibrahim;†Mr. Abba A. Ibrahim; Mrs. Ifeoma Nwakama; Dr. Fatima Alkali, who will serve as Counsel to the panel; and Mr. S. Halliru, as Secretary. "It is in the light of this I have mandated the panel".

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