Richard Aderounmu | President Buhari has received the Amnesty International report that indicted some Nigerian Army top commanders of crime against humanity.  

This was contained in a statement by the Senior Special Assistant (Media & Publicity) to the president Malam Garba Shehu, in which the president described the reports as disturbing.

Amnesty International had called on the Federal Government to investigate and prosecute some top officers of the country’s military over various crimes against humanity.

In the report, “Nigeria: Stories of horror in their own words”, the Amnesty International accused Nigeria’s military of committing various horrific war crimes including the murder and torture of at least 8, 000 persons in all its operation.

Reacting, President Buhari assured Amnesty International that his administration would study the document and act appropriately.“I assure you that your report will be looked into,” he added.

 He said without meaning to prejudice the outcome of any investigation, Nigerians needed to be reassured that “this administration will leave no stone unturned to promote the rule of law, and deal with all cases of human rights abuses.

“Respect for human rights and adherence to the rule of law are the life and soul of the democratic system. We will not tolerate or condone impunity and reckless disregard for human rights,” ,” President Buhari said.

Reacting, the Director of Defence Information, Nigeria Army Mr. Gen. Chris Olukolade described the report as continuous blackmail by Amnesty against the top brass of the Nigerian military.

The report indicted Major General John A.H. Ewansiha, Major General Obida T Ethnan, Major General Ahmadu Mohammed, Brigadier General Austin O. Edokpayi and Brigadier General Rufus O. Bamigboye as being involved in some criminal activities.

It also called on the new Nigerian government under President Muhammadu Buhari, to commission an independent investigation into the conduct of the following serving and former service chiefs: General Azubuike Ihejirika, a former Chief of Army Staff, Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim, a former Chief of Defense Staff, Air Chief Marshal Badeh, current Chief of Defense Staff and General Ken Minimah, current Chief of Army Staff as culpable for the crimes.

According to the report, a high-ranking military officer gave Amnesty International a list of 683 detainees who died in custody between October 2012 and February 2013. The organization also obtained evidence that in 2013, more than 4,700 bodies were brought to a mortuary from a detention facility in Giwa barracks. In June 2013 alone, more than 1,400 corpses were delivered to the mortuary from this facility.

It said that a former detainee who spent four months in detention described how on arrival “The soldiers said: “Welcome to your die house. Welcome to your place of death.” Only 11 of the 122 men he was arrested with survived.”

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