The Federal Government has commenced an investigation into the accusations of human rights abuses levelled against the Nigerian military by the Amnesty International.
The government, in a statement on Wednesday by the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb Bulus Lolo, said due to the magnitude of the allegations, President Muhammadu Buhari had instituted an investigation into the report.
The AI had accused certain retired and serving senior military officers of torture and extra-judicial killings during counter-terror operations against Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
Lolo said the government was concerned about the safety and rights of all Nigerians.
“Due to the magnitude of the allegations, the President Buhari-led government is looking into the report with a view to establishing the fact of the matter. The government has, therefore, instituted an investigation and assures that there will be no cover-up,” he said.
The permanent secretary however said that the military had undertaken an ongoing investigation into the allegations of wrongdoing by its personnel.
Lolo said the Nigerian military, in line with its training, ensured the highest level of professionalism by its officers in the conduct of its operations. He also noted that the armed forces had earned respect both within and outside the country.
He said the military, in line with the state of emergency imposed on Adamawa, Borno and Yobe states, had some powers, which include the authority to arrest, interrogate and detain any civilian involved in terror activities.
He said, “In Nigeria, as in other regions where terrorists have unleashed their evil acts without a scintilla of respect for morality, extreme measures are sometimes required to contain extremism. It is a well-known fact that Boko Haram respects no laws at all, including sacred religious laws that the group claims to cherish.
“We find it nonetheless very worrisome that Amnesty International has yet to comment on the horrendous, mindless and ruinous activities of Boko Haram. Indeed, the victims of Boko Haram’s despicable activities deserve justice and sympathy.”
Lolo said that the government would ensure that errant military personnel were brought to book and pledged the nation’s unflinching commitment to fighting terrorism in all its forms.
He said the Federal Government would continue to work with its neighbours and its international partners to combat terrorism.