LAGOS/Nigeria: The Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, (CDHR), had called on the Nigerian military authority to be more accountable in her operations rather than condemn, and calling for expulsion of human rights monitoring organizations in the country.
The group, in a statement obtained, and signed by the National President, Barr. Malachy Ugwummadu, stated that they are surprised with act of aggression and intimidation, the military had responded to the human rights reports issued by Amnesty International.
“CDHR notes with utter dismay the sustained acts of aggression and intimidation with which the Nigerian Military has consistently responded to serious human rights reports issued by the Amnesty International.”
The statement stated that most of the cases which had pitched the military against AI had be findings from carefully researched investigation, which includes direct accounts from victims.
“Recall that the AI has remained quite critical over documented cases of human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings in particular by Law enforcement agencies.”
“Most of the reported cases are findings from carefully researched investigation including direct accounts from relatives of victims. Other agencies and civil society organizations have made similar reports in the past. Both in March, 2017 and May this year, the office of the Amnesty International came under heavy siege by sponsored protesters who condoned off their Maitama, Abuja office alleging that AI had consistently targeted the Nigerian Military in their reports.”
“Nigerian Military has now escalated their arm twisting strategy against the Amnesty International by calling for their sack and expulsion from Nigeria. That is not only desperate, it has become over zealousness on the part of the Nigerian Military to make such unguarded call in the circumstance that they did.”
“Amnesty International’s Reports are largely accounts of known facts compressed in researched documents. Virtually every Nigerian law enforcement agency including the Nigerian Military is indicted for one security laps or indiscretion.”
“Some of the agencies have taken advantage of the said reports to adjust their operational measures for better results and efficiencies. Yet, the Nigerian Military has often resorted to blackmail and intimidation in a manner that further exposes them to the contents of those reports.”
“Calls for the expulsion of Amnesty International in Nigeria represents zero tolerance to any form of criticism and accountability. Unfortunately, arm-twisting tactics and intimidation do not approximate categorical denial of the contents of the reports.”
CDHR in the statement frowns at the call for the expulsion of AI from the country, and termed it most unfortunate.
“The call for the sack and expulsion from Nigeria is most unfortunate and provocative. Staffs of the organization are Nigerians whose rights to live in any part of this country are guaranteed under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended). The Nigerian Government is equally obligated under international law to guarantee and secure the rights of member states and their nationals.”
“Rather than rebuff, disregard and discountenance the report of the Amnesty International, the Nigerian Military should leverage on this report and objectively investigate the contents of the report with a view to identifying clear areas of lapse and improvement particularly now that officers and men of the same Military have become victims of repeated attacks.” The statement said.