An international human rights group, Amnesty International, on Tuesday called on the Federal Government to publish the report by the presidential panel which investigated alleged human rights violations by the military.
Amnesty International in a statement signed by the Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said today marks a year after the panel started its work of reviewing compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement.
They noted that a judicial commission was raised in August 2017 by then-Acting President Yemi Osinbajo while President Buhari was on a medical trip to London, into the alleged human rights violations by the military.
“The Nigerian government’s delay to make public the report by the Presidential Investigative Panel to Review Compliance of the Armed Forces with Human Rights Obligations and Rules of Engagement is an appalling affront to victims who are still waiting for justice
“The presidential investigative panel submitted its report in February 2018 and since then Nigerians have been waiting for the full report and fulfilment of the promise made by President Buhari in June 2015 to end impunity and ensure justice for the victims of crimes under international law committed by the armed forces.
“When the panel finally commenced a year ago, many Nigerians took the brave step to testify, driven by their yearning for the truth to come out. Their efforts must not be in vain. It is time the victims see the result of the investigations,” the statement read in part.
During the course of its investigations, the panel held public sittings in Abuja, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kaduna and Lagos where it heard from victims and witnesses, who described a range of alleged violations by security forces, including extra-judicial executions, torture, rape, enforced disappearances and the burning down of villages.
Amnesty International said the Federal government must make good on its promise and show its commitment to transparency and accountability by publishing the report and revealing how they will ensure justice for the victims.
They claimed that “Far too many previous investigative panels and inquiries set up by the government in the past ended nowhere, with no reports published to the public.”