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Nigerian military says it’ll open itself for NHRC probe over report of alleged forced abortions



General Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), on Friday, urged the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to look into the reports of forced abortions of the wives of North-Eastern terrorists who have repented.

Following a revelation from the Reuters news agency that the military performed 10,000 abortions on such wives in the North-east, there are worries about the development.

The United States government and the House of Representatives both responded to the disclosure by requesting an investigation.

Irabor claimed that the military saw the accusations as a deliberate effort to undermine the military establishment while speaking during a working visit to the rights commission in Abuja.

He said he made the call for an independent investigation since the military could not investigate itself in such a matter. Irabor said the military was prepared to accept the outcome of the investigation.

The defence chief said, “In recent times, there were reports of military involvement in forced abortions in the North-east. When we looked at it, we said this is not us. It doesn’t depict the DNA of our operations.

READ ALSO:Military under pressure to compromise 2023 elections —CDS Irabor

“We felt that there are extra-territorial powers, who are keen to weaken the armed forces, so we felt that the National Human Rights Commission is the right agency to carry out such investigation.

“And if that is what you want to do, we will grant you unfettered access to not just the North-east but across the country. Our doors are open. If you desire to invite any of our officers they will be available, we will oblige.

“We have said before now that the report is evil. The North-east operation is a government project championed by the armed forces. We have codified our various operational rules and we subscribe to various international humanitarian laws.”

Responding to a question on whether he would accept the outcome of the investigation, he said, “if I would not accept, I will not be here. I was asked if I will investigate and I said I can’t investigate myself, another body should do that and that is why I am here.”

In a report published on December 7, the Nigerian military was alleged to have conducted a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the country’s north-east, ending at least 10,000 pregnancies among victims of insurgency.Read more

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