INVESTIGATIVE PANEL ON ALLEGED HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS AGAINST THE NIGERIA ARMED FORCES COMMENCES SITTING IN ADAMAWA STATE.
The Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations set up by the National Human Rights Commission to investigate alleged human rights violations against the Nigeria Armed Forces has arrived Adamawa State.
The seven man panel headed by Justice Abdu Aboki, a retired Justice of the supreme court, arrived Yola the Adamawa State capital in continuation of its investigation of a three part report by Reuters News Agency which allegedly accused the military of human rights violations in its counter insurgency operations in the North East.
While giving a general brief on what the investigative panel was set up to achieve, the secretary of the panel who is a senior Human Rights Adviser, National Human Rights Commission, Hilary Ogbonna, listed the allegations leveled against the Nigeria Armed Forces which include ten thousand abortions carried out on women and girls, massacre of children associated with Boko Haram and the systematic attack on women leading to the violation of their rights.
Mr. Ogbonna, said the investigative panel set up to ascertain the involvement of the military or otherwise in the reported allegations by Reuters will investigate the allegations, receive memoranda from the public and victims, determine culpability and accountability on alleged human rights violations, make recommendations to the Attorney General of the Federation and that of the three states of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe and to further make recommendations on integrating human rights into counter insurgency operations in the north east.
He said the panel while in Yola will visit both military and civilian hospitals as well as conduct public hearings and consultations just as it has done in Borno and Yobe states.
Mr. Hilary Ogbonna, further explained that the alleged human rights violations leveled against the Nigeria Armed Forces by Reuters took place between nine to ten years ago, pointing out that the panel had so far received about fifty testimonials from Nigerians and top military officers including the Chief of Army Staff.
He said the government of Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states have expressed willingness to work with the panel and assured that in no distant time the panel will come out with a preliminary report on its findings, pointing out that they have already received a lot documents that will be subjected to thorough analysis and evaluations.
The panel received testimonies from the Commander 28 Task Force with Headquarters at Chibok, Brigadier General Markus Gurama Martins and the Commander 23 Brigade with Headquarters in Yola, Brigadier General Mohammed Jibril Gambo.
The panel will subsequently listen to testimonies from stakeholders in relevant areas of its investigatio