Nigeria: Long overdue judicial commission to probe human rights violations is set up

5 August 2017, 17:10 UTC

Responding to Nigeria’s acting President Prof Yemi Osinbajo setting up of a judicial commission to review compliance of armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, Osai Ojigho, Director, Amnesty International Nigeria said: 

“We welcome the setting up of the judicial commission and its mandate to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian and human rights law by Nigeria’s security agencies. 

“The judicial commission is long overdue and is an opportunity to finally bring justice to victims of war crimes and other serious human rights violations committed across parts of Nigeria affected by conflict. We therefore call on the government to ensure that victims of human rights violations are allowed to present evidence to the commission without fear and with all the necessary protection.”

“We also call on the government to ensure that the commission is independent, impartial and free from any conflict of interest that may affect the integrity of its work. Ensuring that the commission has the resources to carry out its work and making its terms of reference public can bring transparency.”

“Investigating compliance of security agencies with rules of engagements in all conflicts, and violation of international humanitarian and human rights law is a step in the right direction that must be carried out with all sense of responsibility of making sure that no human rights violation goes unaccounted for.

"The mandate of the commission to advise on preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations is also a vital step for the country.”

“The government’s priority should be justice, human rights and the dignity of human life in Nigeria. All persons reasonably suspected of committing crimes under international law and other serious violations of human rights on all sides of all conflicts in the country must be brought to justice in fair trials before civilian courts without recourse to the death penalty.”