Military Abuse Panel to Begin Hearings

The judicial panel set up by acting President Yemi Osinbajo to investigate claims of human rights abuses by the Nigerian military has put forward its schedule of hearings after it was inaugurated by Mr. Osinbajo last Friday.

Secretary to the Presidential Investigation Panel, Haliru Suleiman, released a statement announcing the Commission’s public hearing in Nigeria’s capital, Abuja, from the 7th September until the 6th of October.

The statement called for affected persons, members of the public, and institutions to “submit their memorandum within two weeks, through the Presidency, Special Services Office, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, for the attention of the secretary of the panel.”

Groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have brought the abuse allegations against the military to light in recent months, which include the extra-judicial killings of Shiite and pro-Biafra protesters, and suspected Boko Haram members.

The panel’s terms of reference were featured in Nigeria’s Premium Times:

  1. To review extant rules of engagement applicable to the armed forces of Nigeria and the extent of compliance thereto.
  1. To investigate alleged act of violation of international humanitarian and human right law under the constitution of the federal republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended, Geneva Conventions Act, African Charter of Human and people’s rights( Ratifications and Enforcement) Act and other relevant laws by the armed forces in local conflicts and insurgencies.
  1. To investigate matters of conduct and discipline in the Armed Forces in local conflicts and insurgencies.
  1. To recommend means of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situation.
  1. To make further recommendations in line with these terms of reference as may be deemed necessary.

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Phoebe Egoroff

Founder and of Jurist International, a website focusing on the latest developments in international human rights and criminal law.