Baga probe ongoing despite emergency rule

Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, Chidi Odinkalu

The panel is expected to submit its final report not later than the first week of July.

An independent probe into the killings in Baga, Borno state, where between 30 and more than 200 people were reportedly killed in crossfire between security forces and Boko Haram militants, has proceeded despite the emergency rule in Borno state, the National Human Rights Commission, has said.

The human rights body said it has gone ahead with its decision to probe the massacre that took place April 16.

The killings were largely blamed on the government forces although the authorities said the number was extremely exaggerated. The military said 30 people died, and only one was a civilian. The numbers were disputed by locals who said more than 200 people were killed while over 2,000 homes were destroyed.

The commission’s Chairman, Chidi Odinkalu, announced 3 May after an emergency meeting of the NHRC board of the commission’s decision to undertake an independent probe.

Mr. Odinkalu had announced that the board had set up a panel to visit Baga and find out what really happened between 16 – 18 April. He said the panel is expected to submit its final report not later than the first week of July.

Reacting to a PREMIUM TIMES enquiry regarding the progress of the work in the light of recent emergency rule, Mr. Odinkalu not only confirmed that the panel has commenced work but also added, “We are hoping to have an interim report sometime in the first half of June.”

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