© 2018 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
‘This is just a wild goose chase report’, Presidency dismisses Amnesty International allegations
The Presidency on Thursday reacts to the report by the Amnesty International alleging abuse of Boko Haram victims by military, describing it as lacking credibility and “a wild goose chase”.
Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, who stated this in a statement in Abuja, said the recent report alleging human rights violation by Nigerian security agencies is inherently battling with credibility, falling vehemently short of evidential narration.
Shehu remarked that report is short on credibility because it does not contain factual leads that could have laid the foundation for investigative actions.
He noted that findings were attributed to people but proper description of such people constituting the source of information was not provided.
“Engagement was claimed to have been made with Nigerian authorities but which authority is it, is not provided with clarity.
“This then is just a wild goose chase report, in essence.
“In some breath, the report seemed like the one in 2015, and the one in 2016, and the one after that year, the same things being recycled again and again.
“It ignores the fact of the existing mechanisms put in place by the military, as a self-correcting step and the high-level committee constituted by the Presidency to examine any such claims,’’ he said.
According to him, the Nigerian military, had over the period of time, established cases of abuse and punishments meted out from Orderly Room trials and Court Martials that resulted in losses of rank, dismissals, and trials and convictions by civil courts.
Shehu quoted President Muhammadu Buhari during his recent joint press conference with President Trump at the White House to further buttress his points as saying: “the government of Nigeria remains deeply committed to the principles of human rights, as well as promotion and protection of people’s freedom, even in the process of fighting terror.
‘’We commit to ensure that all documented cases of human rights abuses are investigated, and those responsible for violation held responsible.”
The 2017/2018 Reports of the Amnesty International on Nigeria had alleged that the Nigerian military “arbitrarily arrested and held thousands of young men, women and children in detention centres around the country.
The report alleged that detainees were denied access to lawyers and family members.
While accusing the Nigerian army of various atrocities at Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in the North East region of the country, the report also acknowledged that the army released 593 detainees in April and 760 in October 2017.
It said: “Reports continued of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, and torture and other ill-treatment, which, in some cases, led to deaths in custody. Conditions in military detention were harsh.
“Communal violence occurred across the country. Thousands of people were forcibly evicted from their homes.’’