The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN has expressed the full support of the Federal Government for the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violation in Counter Insurgency Operation in the North-East (SIIP-NE). He pledged that the government will fully implement the recommendations that may be the outcome of the findings of the panel.
The Minister made this disclosure Thursday, when members of the SIIP NE paid him a courtesy visit in his office to intimate him of the progress of the panel.
He stated that the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari has established a record on the compliance of the recommendation of the National Human Rights Commission.
Malami cited the example of the payment of 135 million naira as compensation paid by the government to victims of human rights violation as recommended by the NHRC after the public hearing of the case of the Apo 8.
While expressing the readiness of the Federal Government to implement the recommendations of the panel as soon as it is ready, the Attorney General said the allegations contained in the Reuters report must be immediately investigated for adequate necessary actions to be taken, adding that the activities of the panel as highlighted so far shows that the panel has already hit the ground running.
In his remark, the Executive Secretary of the NHRC Chief Tony Ojukwu OFR SAN said it was important to brief the Minister about the work of the panel and to solicit for more support of the Ministry considering the enormous task that the panel has to accomplish.
He used the medium to inform the Minister about the passage of the harmonised Legislation of the Commission which has just been passed by the Senate and waiting presidential accent, appealing to the Minister to use the influence of his good office to ensure the presidential assent of the harmonise legislation of the NHRC which will go a long way to assist the Commission to effectively deliver on its mandate.
The Chairman of the Panel, Justice Abdu Aboki rtd expressed the commitment of the Panel to unravel the truth contained in the three part report released by a foreign news agency Reuters in December 2022.
Earlier, the Secretary of the Panel, who also doubled as the Senior Human Rights Adviser to the Executive Secretary, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna highlighted the activities of the 7-man panel of experts which include consultation, partnership, public outreach, and public hearing.
So far, the panel has heard 33 testimonies from witnesses, 16 of them civilian and 17 were top military officials including 3 Theatre Commanders of the Operation Lafiya Dole now Operation Hadin Kai.
The Federal Government restated its commitment to upholding human rights and ensuring justice for victims of human rights violations in the North-East.
The Minister urged all stakeholders to support the work of the SIIP-NE and the NHRC in achieving these goals.