Osinbajo sets up judicial commission to probe human rights abuses by Nigerian military


After several months of dithering, the Nigerian government has finally set up a commission to investigate alleged rights abuses by the military.

Despite reports by local and international groups and media accusing the military of rights abuse in several operations, the government had largely left the military to investigate itself and thus clear itself of the allegations.

On Friday, however, the presidency released a statement announcing the establishment of a judicial commission of enquiry.

“Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, has appointed a 7-man Judicial Commission, headed by Justice Biobele A. Georgewill, of the Court of Appeal, to review compliance of the Nigerian Armed Forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement, especially in local conflict and insurgency situations,” a statement by Mr. Osinbajo’s spokesperson, Laolu Akande, said.

Some of the allegations that have been levelled against the military by groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, as well as several PREMIUM TIMES investigations, include extra-judicial killing of over 300 Shiite protesters in Kaduna in 2015, the extra-judicial killing of dozens of pro-Biafra protesters in the South-east, and that of suspected Boko Haram members in the North-east.

The military has always maintained it did nothing wrong and recently set up its own panel which cleared it of any wrongdoing.

In his statement on Friday, Mr. Akande said the presidential committee “is empowered to review extant rules of engagement applicable in the Nigerian Armed Forces, and the extent of compliance thereto.”

“It is also empowered to investigate alleged acts of violation, (by Nigerian security agencies) of international humanitarian and human rights law under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended), Geneva Conventions Act, African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act and other relevant laws,” he said.

Mr. Akande added that the “the commission equally has a mandate to investigate factors that might be militating against a speedy resolution of local conflicts and insurgencies and also advise on means of preventing violations of international humanitarian and human rights law in conflict situations.”

He listed members of the judicial commission to include Mr. Georgewill as Chairman; and Patrick Akem, a major general, as member.

Other members are Wale Fapohunda, Hauwa Ibrahim, Jibrin Ibrahim, Ifeoma Nwakama, and a representative of the Office of the National Security Adviser.

“The Commission is expected to commence work immediately and submit its report within 90 days,” Mr. Akande said.


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  • marcos avelino

    This is pure sectarianism more than two times christians – five christians and two muslims. There is a hidden agenda here

    • Wale Adegoke

      Jibrin Ibrahim is a Hausa Christian from Kano.

      • Abu Musa

        Jibrin Ibrahim is a Christian from Kano State. Hauwa Ibrahim is said to be an apostate from Gombe, married to an Italian and working with Harvard’s School of Divinity.

  • George

    This Osinbaju is animal what of the committee he personally headed against the GLASS CUTTER animal, where is the result he promised to be out in two weeks. Yorubas are animals

  • Abu Musa

    These are the Chairman and Members of the JUDICIAL Commission of Inquiry to investigate the Nigerian Military and it’s compliance with the rules of engagement in the war against the insurgency in North East:

    (i) Hon. Justice Biobele A. Georgewill – Chairman;
    (ii) Major-General Patrick Akem – member;
    (iii) Mr. Wale Fapohunda – member;
    (iv) Mrs. Hauwa Ibrahim – member;
    (v) Mr. Jibrin Ibrahim – member;
    (vi) Mrs. Ifeoma Nwakama – member; and
    (vii) Representative of the Office of the National Security Adviser – member.}

    There is not a single Muslim in a judicial commission that is going to probe our military, and whose other TOR’s have serious significance and implications. Jibrin Ibrahim is a Christian from Kano State. Hauwa Ibrahim is said to be an apostate from Gombe, married to an Italian and working with Harvard’s School of Divinity.

    And, not a single Borno/Yobe/Adamawa person, who, as the people affected, speak the local languages and understand the various cultures and may be conversant with history, trends and events? Haba, don Allah!

    Now, this is NOT an administrative committee or commission. It IS a judicial commission of enquiry. Yet, not a single Muslim in it, and not a single person from the area affected by most of the issues to be investigated?

    What is the agenda behind this judicial commission of inquiry?