A committee that will investigate allegations of attempted rape and child trafficking in some Internally displaced Persons (IDPs) camps in the North-East, the Nigerian region hard hit by Boko Haram insurgency, has been set up by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).
According to a statement signed by Sani Datti, NEMA’s Senior Information Officer, and made available to newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja, the move was in reaction to an online publication entitled “Grim Tales of Rape, Child Trafficking in IDP camps”.
The statement noted that the report was written by one International Centre for Investigating Reporting (icirnigeria.org), and republished by Premium Times. It added that Alhaji Muhammad Sani-Sidi, the NEMA Director-General, had met with stakeholders in Abuja on Monday, during which the committee was set up. The terms of reference of the panel which has two weeks to conclude its investigations, include verification of the allegations, interacting with all stakeholders, holding town hall meetings in all the camps mentioned in the report, among others.
Representatives of the State Security Service, the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Red Cross Society and Office of the National Security Adviser were chosen as members of the committee. Others are from the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Agency for the Prohibition of Traffic in Persons, Journalists against Disaster, NEMA, SEMAs in Borno, Adamawa, and Gombe, Civil Defense Corps and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).
The committee is headed by Hajiya Bilkisu Abdullah, a Deputy Director with the SSS.