The Nigeria Military has assured the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in the Counter Insurgency Operators in the North East (SIIP-NE) of its readiness to cooperate with the panel, including making available officers that might be needed in the course of the investigations.
It also assured Nigerians of the security and safety of the members of the panel and other persons who may be involved in the course of the proceedings at the panel.
The Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor who stated this at the Defense Headquarters when the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Tony Ojukwu OFR, SAN, and the Members of the SIIP-NE paid him a courtesy visit commended the Commission for undertaking to investigate the Reuters’ allegations of human rights violations against the Military.
According to the CDS, Reuters’ allegations of abortion of pregnancies in the North East is false and a ploy to dampen the spirit of the troops in the field of operation.
The Military Chief stated that with Reuters’ report “Our professional standing has been put to question”, adding that the Armed Forces has continued to display high level of commitment in national service
Despite the sacrifices by the troops, he said that a few individuals, territorial or extra-territorial have decided to malign the image of the military.
According to him, other Independent media organization have carried out some investigation into Reuters’ allegations and suggested it could be useful for the panel to review other media reports on the counter insurgency operations in the North East.
He further noted that Reuters’ report is regrettable having alleged that organized abortion of pregnancies was instituted by the federal government , implying that it was sanctioned by the Government and superintended by the military.
Earlier, the Executive Secretary told the CDS that the purpose of the visit was to formally seek the cooperation of the military in investigating allegations of human rights violations by the military in the North East.
The NHRC Boss also thanked the CDS for quickly acceding to its request in sending a liaison officer to assist the panel in reaching out to the military in the course of the panel’s Inquiry.
Also in his remarks, the Chairman of the panel, Justice Abdu Aboki on behalf of other members thanked the CDS for granting them audience and requested the cooperation and support of the military to enable the panel unravel the truth concerning the allegations of human rights violations by the military.
The retired Supreme Court Justice told General Irabor that the investigation is in the interest of the military and Nigeria in general and that the panel will be fair to all parties and adhere to the rules of natural justice.