Nigerian military accuses Amnesty International of fabricating report of extrajudicial killings, torture

Nigerian Army in Sambisa Forest

The Nigerian military has accused human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), of fabricating its latest report about extrajudicial killings and torture of 240 people in the country’s north-east and 177 pro-Biafran agitators.

In a statement signed by acting director defence information, Rabe Abubakar, a brigadier general, the military described the report as a continuation of AI’s “series of spurious fabrications aimed at tarnishing the good image of the Nigerian military.”

Amnesty International has been relentless in its exposure of human rights abuses allegedly perpetrated by Nigerian soldiers in the country’s war against Boko Haram and the military’s ruthlessness in quelling protests in other parts of Nigeria.

The organisation’s latest reports stated that 240 people including infants died in a dreaded military detention centre in Borno in 2016 while 177 pro-Biafran agitators were extra-judicially killed same year.

“At the military detention facility at Giwa barracks, Maiduguri, cells were overcrowded. Diseases, dehydration and starvation was rife. At least, 240 detainees died during the year. Bodies were secretly buried in Maiduguri’s cemetery by the Borno State Environmental Protection Agency staff. Among the dead were, at least, 29 children and babies, aged between newborn and five years.”

On the killings of pro-Biafra agitators, the report alleged that, “Since January, in response to the continued agitation by pro-Biafra campaigners, security forces arbitrarily arrested and killed, at least, 100 members and supporters of the group, Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB. Some of those arrested were subjected to enforced disappearance.

“On February 9, soldiers and police officers shot at about 200 IPOB members, who had gathered for a prayer meeting at the National High School in Aba, Abia State. Video footage showed soldiers shooting at peaceful and unarmed IPOB members; at least, 17 people were killed and scores injured.”

However, the military, like it has repeatedly done in the past, denied the claims contained in the report saying “they were contrived lies orchestrated to blackmail and ridicule the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

Mr. Abubakar said AI is in the habit of encouraging “activities of non-state actors who take up arms against the state, killing, maiming and destroying public property.”

“In as much as the Nigerian military acknowledges and respects the views and constructive criticism of individuals, groups or even international organisations including Amnesty International, it will not fall for nor accept the deliberate falsehood that have no bearing with the fact or reality on ground.

“The truth is that the Nigerian military has always been open in its operations and do not hide its activities from the probing eye of the public. Amnesty International chose to bandy fabricated reports and concocted stories instead of seeking clarifications from the relevant authorities.”

“It smacks of mischief for the AI to insist on publishing unverified and unsubstantiated report as it is only them that knows why it embark on such dishonourable venture over a period of time,” he said.

“The Nigerian military rejects this AI reports in its entirety and appeals to all well meaning Nigerians to disregard the report and discountenance its contents as they were meant to paint Nigeria in bad light. We reassure our citizens of our commitment to terminate these myriads of security challenges facing our country, mindless of unfounded reports and cheap blackmail by AI,” he added.


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  • Mamman Bako

    Nigeria Army please provide your ‘alternative facts’ since this is ‘fake news’.

    • Kallah Bature

      I honestly don’t understand this Amenesty collection of individuals.Who are they? And what is their persuasion? When terrorists are killing and maiming they blame them for their excesses.When legitimate authorities try to bring the mayhem under control they turn around to blame the government of extra judicial killing.

      • Otile

        Buhari is notorious for his human right abuses. We always expect paid agents like you, rommel, aboki, among others to come out in full force to defend your master and denounce AI & other well meaning bodies. The fee you are receiving is blood money, karma will catch up with you all.

      • Wetin Naija

        What mayhem? Freedom of association is mayhem? Half baked education can be dangerous

        • Charlie

          Freedom of association for Boko Haram abi? AI has not proven anything or show us any concrete evidence except for interviews of anonymous witnesses. People of low mentality usual take whatever garbage they get from Western organization as the true gospel. That’s is the result of more than one hundred years of defective education given to Africans by colonialists, and unfortunately most of us refuse to reeducate ourselves.

  • Darlington

    Well-done AI. Buratai and his conspirators must have a date at ICC. Innocent souls wasted by this ungodly regime are after Buhari.

  • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

    A once reputable army whose present penchant for the killing and dehumanization of civilians is now second to none on the African continent. The deployment of soldiers to kill unarmed civilians by the Buhari administration must be accounted for, all those who lost loved ones and relatives must brace up, collect evidence and wait for the right time, Buhari cannot be in power forever.

  • Rommel

    There is no evidence of the said massacre as there are no names,pictures of real people in existence who were killed other than one individual, this means that amnesty has been fooled by the propaganda of IPOB and let me warn all these people who think they can profit from propaganda, you are reducing our worth before civilized people

  • Rommel

    I am yet to meet anyone who knows anybody that was victim of the said massacre

    • George

      You will never meet any one but you will experience it yourself

    • Bo Biz

      You’ll be in the next batch of the massacre,and your family will identify you.

    • Wetin Naija

      How will you know until your family is massacred

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      Nazi sympathizers world wide still deny the holocaust so no one expects you to accept the IPOB MASSACRES.

  • thusspokez

    The Nigerian military has accused human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), of fabricating its latest report about extrajudicial killings and torture of 240 people in the country’s north-east and 177 pro-Biafran agitators.

    Honestly, if I am the Nigerian army, I would make the same noise and counter accusations as governments and arms forces accused of human rights abuses often do. But and seriously, International organisations like AI, always take extreme care in their investigations and reporting — they follow strict methodology, and sets of procedures–; and in the rare cases where it had got it wrong, it always and quickly apologise to the respective countries.

    AI’s image is as important to it as its work around the world. So, the Nigerian army should stop the hot air and appeal to patriotic sentiments; and instead, put its house in order.

  • Wetin Naija

    Honestly, the worst thing that can happen to a country’s integrity is the credibility is her military that cannot be trust. Nigeria Army lies a lot and has not credibility in international arena.

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