Boko Haram CESJET wants Army to review punishments for personnel

CESJET executive director stated this while reacting to a report by the six-man Board of Inquiry on alleged human abuses by the Army.

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Amnesty International named six serving or retired Nigerian army officers whom it said should be probed to establish whether they were responsible for murder, torture and disappearances play

Amnesty International named six serving or retired Nigerian army officers whom it said should be probed to establish whether they were responsible for murder, torture and disappearances

(AFP/File)
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The Centre for Social Justice, Equity and Transparency (CESJET) has urged the Army Council to consider reviewing the subsisting sanctions and punishments on Army Personnel, in the event a prima facie case of human rights abuses has been established against any officer.

CESJET executive director, Joyce Ogwu stated this while reacting to a report by the six-man Board of Inquiry (BOI) on alleged human abuses.

According to her, this measure has become imperative in view of the contemporary reality of terrorism and the delicate nature of the prosecution of anti-terrorism war by troops, which often involve the risk of life and death of victims they are constrained to rescue, vis-à-vis safeguarding their own lives.

CESJET further commended the report of the Nigerian Army into alleged cases of human rights abuses by its personnel engaged in different operations across the country.

The group said the report has not only cleared doubts in the minds of Nigerians and the international community about the professionalism and discipline of the Nigerian Army, but has once again proven loudly, the innocence of the Nigerian Army which is understandably and conspiratorially persecuted for their sacrifices to end terrorism in Nigeria.

Ugwu said despite the ‘highly scandalous figures’ of claims of extra-judicial killings of Boko Haram suspects in Army detention facilities in Borno state and some members of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), the panel diligently conducted a detailed, faultless and splendid   inquiry by meeting all the different stakeholders covered by the alleged human rights abuses and found the claims by Amnesty International ‘very spurious and patently false.’

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"The published report of the Army BOI embodied a thorough, impartial and neutral inquest into the allegations gleaned from the tissue of evidences and testimonies by victims and non-victims alike,” CEJSET said in a statement made available to Pulse.

"The exoneration of the Amy personnel of culpability or complexity in its anti-terrorism campaigns is indication of Nigerian Army’s unflinching commitment and adherence to the highest ethical standards of professionalism and discipline in the execution of its assignments. This is a fact abundantly buttressed by the COAS, Gen. Buratai, as signposted by the setting up of the Human Rights Desk at the Nigerian Army Headquarters (AHQs) Abuja."

The CESJET boss reiterated the group's objection at the role of Amnesty International in the anti-terrorism war in Nigeria.

"The recent repudiation of AI’s claims of human rights violations as contained in its report on army personnel tallies with the proof of emptiness of previous similar reports from the organization conducted by other independent bodies.

"We therefore call on the Nigerian Government, Civil Society Organizations’ (CSOs) and the International community among others, to take a critical interest in the conspicuously biased and anti-Nigerian posture of Amnesty International in the country," she said.

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