SAN FRANCISCO, September 11, (THEWILL) – Amnesty International has called on the Nigerian government to publish the report submitted by a presidential panel which investigated alleged human rights violations by the Nigerian armed forces.
THEWILL recalls that the seven-member judicial commission was raised in August 2017 by then-Acting President Yemi Osinbajo while President Muhammadu Buhari was on a lengthy vacation for an undisclosed ailment in London.
This was in response to numerous allegations of gruesome rights abuses by the military including the Zaria massacre of over 300 Shi’ite protesters in 2015, the extra-judicial killing of dozens of pro-Biafra protesters in the South-east and the crude treatment of Boko Haram suspects in the North-east.
However, the military has always maintained its personnel were professional and complied with extant rules of engagement.
Between September 11 and November 8, 2017, the panel, led by Biobele Georgewill of the Court of Appeal, sat in Abuja, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos within its 90-day deadline and submitted its report in February 2018 and nothing was heard about its findings.
“When the panel finally commenced a year ago, many Nigerians took the brave step to testify, driven by their yearning for the truth to come out,” Osai Ojigho, Amnesty International’s Nigeria lead, said in a statement Tuesday morning.
“Their efforts must not be in vain. It is time the victims see the result of the investigations.
“The government must make good on its promise and show its commitment to transparency and accountability by publishing the report and publicly revealing how they will ensure justice for the victims.
“Far too many previous investigative panels and inquiries set up by the government in the past ended nowhere, with no reports published to the public and little evidence of action taken by the government.”