AI urges Buhari to release panel report on rights violation by security forces

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Amnesty International (AI) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to release the report of a panel set up investigate allegations of violation of rights by Nigerian security forces.

The international human rights watch said despite promises of doing justice, the Nigerian government had so far failed to work on findings of the report or even make the report public.

The Global rights watchdog said the failure of Nigerian authorities to release the report of the Presidential Panel that purportedly investigated compliance of armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, three years after the report was submitted to the President, was a gross display of contempt for victims.

“Three years ago, a panel was set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to purportedly investigate allegations of violation of rights by Nigerian security forces.

“Despite promises of doing justice, Nigerian government so far failed to work on findings of the report or even make the report public.

“Many Nigerians showed incredible courage to testify to the panel in the hope that, at the end, it will lead to justice.

“But three years is so long and too long for victims to continue waiting for the release of the panel’s report; which is a key step to justice for victims.

“We are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to fulfill the promise he made in 2015 to end impunity by immediately releasing the report.

“Victims and the larger public in Nigeria deserve to see and scrutinize the findings.

“Previous such investigations have ended up without any tangible outcome on the side of justice.

“Nigerian authorities have the duty to ensure that the country’s security forces comply with international law obligations and ensure prompt, thorough, independent and impartial investigations of all allegations of violations.

“Hundreds of victims and witnesses described horrific violations committed by Nigeria’s security forces, including rape, torture, enforced disappearances, extrajudicial executions and razing of villages and homes during public hearings organized by the Panel in Abuja, Enugu, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Port Harcourt, and Lagos,” Amnesty International added.

Amnesty International said failure to disclose the report of the panel, an important first step towards justice, was a shameful betrayal of these victims and another marker of the lack of political will by Nigerian authorities to bring alleged perpetrators to justice.

“It is an abysmal failure, a devastating setback for rule of law that only perpetuates the culture of impunity which is so pervasive in Nigeria,” Amnesty International said.

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