Shiites Fault Presidential Panel on Military Human Rights Abuses

Members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Shiites have faulted the Presidential Investigation Panel (PIP) set up to probe human rights abuses by the military.

The group said it was doubtful if the panel would achieve any meaningful objective in the face of alleged injustices meted to its members.

In a letter dated August 17, 2017, addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari and signed by one of its leaders, Prof. Abdullahi Danladi, described the Nigeria Army’s human rights records as dismal.

He wondered why it took the government so long to set up the panel in spite of several calls from the group and international rights bodies like Amnesty International.

“We had written a letter to you in early 2016 urging you to set an independent judicial commission of inquiry with the supervision of international community to unearth the truth of the matter rather than wait for any report of a biased parties to the incident.

“But you did not heed our call and certainly, never even contemplated setting up any such panel,” he said.

The Shiites, is therefore, doubting the sincerity behind the panel, saying: “It would appear that the setting up of this panel may be related to a quick attempt at convincing (or deceiving) the United States (U.S.) government into selling weapons to the military,” he added.

Danladi further accused the government of trying to deceive the International Criminal Court (ICC) at The Hague presently investigating the Zaria massacre of December 2015 into believing that it was now ready and willing to investigate and dispense justice with regard to the human rights abuses committed by the military.

“In what ways will this panel be different from the judicial commission of inquiry into the Zaria incident set up by the Kaduna State government?

“What is the point of this panel when all previous reports had already established that the actions the Nigerian Army troops were contrary to rules of proportionality by international standards? he queried.


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