ICC, Amnesty International concerned about the Nigerian government’s defiance.
With a long list of complaints, President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration has been reputed for its reported incessant harassment and intimidation of journalists, human rights activists, government critics and peaceful protesters. Despite the numerous concerns raised by major stakeholders, recent reports as to how human rights violations have surged under the Buhari-led government have emerged. The use of security operatives to disrupt peaceful protests and harass government’s critics and journalists has been on a roll.
The government has reportedly also shown great hostility towards the Nigerian Judges, as well as immense indifference to the rulings of the court of law, further undermining the power and authority possessed by the law court and the notion of access to justice. With reports that this administration is continually violating human rights and acting with impunity and disdain for court orders, sources have pointed out that the Nigerian Military and Police Force are culpable of this crime, especially in their handling of the war against insurgency and other separationist movement in the country. Amnesty International, in its 2020 report, indicated that the Nigerian security forces indulged in immense human rights violations such as torture, excessive force and unlawful killings.
Army brutalized innocent civilians in the guise of fighting insurgency.
Amnesty International also reported that the Nigerian authorities also heavily repressed human rights, such as freedom of expression, movement and peaceful assembly. The report highlighted the brutal actions taken against a pro-Biafra group, the Indigenous People of Biafra and other Yoruba self-determination groups. The popular Lekki Toll Gate massacre of October 20, 2020, where military personnel were unleashed to brutalize peaceful protesters is another instance indicating the extrajudicial brutality of the Buhari-led administration. As such, Amnesty International expressed its disappointment at the International Criminal Court for not bringing the perpetrators to justice in spite of the evident human rights violations by the military. AI stated that the Nigerian military had been overtly notorious in their dealings, expressing worry in regards to the fact that the Nigerian authorities were protecting these perpetrators.
Another source pointed that of the ICC had acted, these perpetrators would have been brought to justice for crimes against humanity. Reports indicated that the Nigerian Army had violated the rights of numerous innocent citizens in the North Eastern parts of the country, in the guise of fighting Boko Haram. The source further added that the Nigerian government has been nonchalant as regards addressing these overt violations. The government sworn to protect the people is at the forefront of enacting force and suppressing its citizens.
ICC working on new strategies to bring these perpetrators to justice.
Some indicated that the prosecutors at the International Criminal Court were also worried as to the lack of cooperation received from the Nigerian government at prosecuting the perpetrators of these crimes. Another privy source at the ICC noted that the court was now working on new paradigms of bringing these perpetrators to justice. Reports stated that the attention was now on the new government to ensure that those responsible for these crimes do not enjoy government immunity. One analyst pointed out that the immunity given to these perpetrators by the current administration made them very unpopular globally and handicapped at getting global support.
A source within the military also said that upon the end of President Mohammadu Buhari’s administration, immunity enjoyed by numerous service chiefs would elapse, which would give chance to an unhindered prosecution of those responsible for these human rights violations. Recently, an international news agency, Reuters, accused the Nigerian Military for its involvement in the killing of children during its war against the Islamist insurgency in the Northeastern parts of the country. This report was leveled on the claims of more than 40 soldiers and civilians as regards witnessing military men brutalize children during their operations.
Reports of the Nigerian army enacting an abortion program surfaces.
According to prior reports on how the army indulged in the enactment of an abortion program in the Northeast surfaced, where thousand of pregnancies from women and girls, captured and raped by insurgents were terminated. On this, O’brian, Hale and other legal experts noted that forced abortion could also amount to crimes against humanity. The Secretary of the United Nations, Antonio Gutierres on December 9, urged the Nigerian government to investigate the Reuters’ abortion report.
Human Rights Watch: Website
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