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Benue indigenes tell how herdsmen sacked communities, killed citizens



Benue indigenes tell how herdsmen sacked communities, killed citizens

Indigenes of Benue, one of the many Nigerians states with stories of horrifying onslaught by suspected Fulani herdsmen, on Monday in Abuja, inundated the Presidential Panel on Nigerian Army violation of human rights with tales of how their communities were sacked and citizens killed by marauding cattle rearers.

The Presidential Panel was set up to investigate alleged human rights violations by the Nigerian Army. The Monday meeting in Abuja with Benue indigenes was its inaugural sitting.

Already, the chairman of the investigation panel, Justice Biobele Georgewill, has assured that the panel will afford Nigerians who have genuine and verifiable cases of human rights abuses by the Armed Forces in the course of managing and containing local conflicts and insurgencies, a unique opportunity to submit their memoranda.

According to him, the probe panel has resolved to hold public hearing in each of the six geo-political zones of the country on selected dates and centres in its bid to unravel the truth in myriads of allegations of human rights abuses hovering over the Nigerian Army.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had while acting as President constituted the panel and mandated it to “review compliance of the forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, especially in the local conflict and insurgency situations,” among other things.

Read also: Metuh says alleged attack on Kanu’s home by soldiers ‘provocative’

Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) has called on Nigerian government to make sure that the panel is independent, impartial and effective.

AI Nigeria Director, Osai Ojigho, who made this call on Monday in a statement by the body’s Media Manager, Isa Sanusi, noted that “the establishment of this investigative panel is an opportunity for Nigeria to ensure justice for victims of the countless allegations of war crimes by the military in the country – and it must not be wasted.”
By Ebere Ndukwu …


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