The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mohammed Adoke, has named an Inter-Ministerial Committee to investigate allegations of rape and child trafficking in camps where people displaced by Boko Haram violence are sheltered.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr. Adoke on Friday.
He said the allegations, contained in an investigative report titled: Grim Tales of Rape, Child Trafficking in IDP camps, had attracted government’s attention.
The investigation by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, also published by PREMIUM TIMES, showed how displaced persons in the camps were either raped or trafficked.
“Government’s attention has been drawn to an article published by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR)alleging that hundreds of Nigerian children are being trafficked from some of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps set up to cater for people displaced as a result of the insurgency in the Northeast Geo-Political Zone,” Mr. Adoke said.
He said the Federal Government viewed the allegations with serious concern, as it concerned the welfare of citizens.
“Consequently, an Inter-Ministerial Committee comprising of relevant agencies and security personnel has been set up to among other things; investigate the matter with a view to holding accountable all those found culpable in these nefarious acts and recommend appropriate measures to forestall future occurrence,” Mr. Adoki said.
“Government has also taken steps to strengthen security around all registered IDP Camps. As an interim measure, the National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons (NAPTIP) has been directed to conduct enlightenment campaigns for care-givers in the Camps. Government is determined to prevent acts that will further traumatise its citizens who have found themselves in these camps due to circumstances beyond their control,” the Minister said.
He affirmed the commitment of the government to the security and welfare of all citizens, including victims of armed conflicts.
“May I re-state unequivocally, Government’s commitment to the task of providing protection and assistance to victims of armed conflicts and internal strife and its resolve to provide adequate security of lives and properties of her citizenry,” he said.
Last week, the National Emergency Management Agency also said constituted a panel to investigate the allegations.
In the original report by ICIR, the Chairman of National Human Right Commission, Chidi Odinkalu, said the commission received complaints of abuses in the IDP camps and, thereafter, engaged government agencies involved in managing the IDP camps as well as security agencies on the need to investigate the allegations.
Mr. Odinkalu, however, lamented the futility of such efforts.