From: Molly Kilete, Abuja
The Nigerian Army, on Wednesday, inaugurated a special Board of Inquiry (BoI) to investigate allegations of human rights violation by its officers and soldiers.
The 8-member board, headed by Maj.-Gen. A.T. Jibrin (rtd) is to, among others, investigate cases of alleged extra-judicial execution, arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture and enforced disappearance of suspected Boko Haram terrorists leveled against the Nigerian Army in the early days of the counter terrorism and counter insurgency operations.
Inaugurating the board at the Army Headquarters, in Abuja, Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the board has become necessary to establish the true situation of the allegations of human rights violation by Amnesty International, Indigenous People Of Biafra(IPOB), and other groups and individuals.
According to Gen. Buratai, “Amnesty International (AI), the Indigenous People Of Biafra (IPOB), and other groups and individuals have made allegations of human rights violation of arrested Boko Haram terrorists against some of our senior officers and commanders based on which some of them are already suffering discriminations in some quarters.”
Buratai, while listing the allegations to include extra judicial execution, arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture and enforced disappearance of suspected Boko haram terrorists, “said these allegations are not good for civil-military relations and capable of demoralized zing Nigerian Army personnel in the performance of their constitutional roles”
According to him “it is therefore expedient to thoroughly investigate these allegations in order to find out the facts of the matter to enable relevant authorities take appropriate actions”.
While charging members of the board to be thorough in their assignment, the Army chief, however warned that “allegations that have been investigated by state governments or the National Human Rights Commission(NHRC), and concluded are not to be revisited”.
Other members of the board are Brigadier-Generals A. Dadan Garba(rtd), Abdulqadir Gumi(rtd), O. L. Olayinka, Colonels LB Mohammed, UM Wambai, Mr. Olawole Fapohunda from the NHRC, and Lieutenant-Colonel Akaliro.