By Bukar Bolori
The Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in the Counter Insurgency operations in the North East (SIIP-NE) on Wednesday visited the Theatre Command Headquarters of Operation Hadin Kai in Maiduguri, Borno state.
The visit was to solicit the cooperation of the Command towards unraveling the truth in the allegations of rights violations against the Nigerian military.
The panel was constituted and subsequently inaugurated with specific terms of reference to conduct thorough investigation into the alligations.
It could be recalled that in December 2021, the Nigerian Armed Forces came under serious allegations of abortion of pregnancies, infanticide and other forms of Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) by Reuters, a foreign media organisation.
The panel which was inaugurated by the Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission Chief Tony Ojukwu SAN OFR, and chaired by a retired Supreme Court Justice, Justice Abdu Aboki visited the Theatre Command Operation Hadin Kai as part of its fact finding mission which among other things entails hearing from the operations officers, members of the public, and visiting military facilities including hospitals, rehabilitation centres, etc.
Justice Aboki told the Officers of the Theatre Command that the visit is part of the panel’s inquiry into allegations of human rights violations made against the military.
Similarly, the NHRC Boss who accompanied members of the panel during the visit told the Theatre Command that military’s cooperation is highly needed to clear the air and establish the true position of things regarding the said allegations.
In his response, the Deputy Theatre Commander of Operation Hadin Kai, Major General Koko Akamba Isoni said that the military will not be distracted by such allegations and that the Theatre Command is very willing to render all the necessary cooperation needed to unravel the truth concerning the allegations.
Also in his remarks, the General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division, Major General Waidi Shaibu said that the military will provide all the necessary information in its custody to ease the task of the panel. He noted that the military has done a lot in the protection of the lives of civilian populace affected by insurgency in the North East region.