The Nigerian Army and the Nigeria Bar Association have inaugurated a team to monitor and report cases of human rights violation by security agents across the country.
The NBA president, Agustine Alegeh, announced the constitution of the team at a workshop on human rights on “Human Rights in Times of Conflict” in Maiduguri on Monday.
He said the inauguration of the monitoring team was part of measures adopted to improve human rights protection and check abuses in Nigeria.
Mr. Alegeh said Nigerians would have the opportunity of reporting cases of gross violations directly to the hierarchy of the security agencies.
He said the measure was part of the partnership required to improve the image of the armed forces with regard to human rights issues.
Mr. Alegeh commended the army’s professionalism in the on-going counter insurgency operations in parts of the Northeast.
“The presence of the Chief of Army Staff, Minister of Justice and the Nigeria Bar Association, is a clear testimony that the workshop is going to yield a positive result.
“Our goal today is to ensure that human right forms part of the integral operation, engagement and counter-insurgency and terrorism operation in the army.
In his remark, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, restated the military’s commitment to respect human rights in its operations.
He said that the army would always discharge its duties professionally and responsively.
Mr. Buratai promised that no military personnel would be involved in human rights abuses while carrying out assigned tasks.
He explained that the army had taken steps toward prosecuting officers and soldiers involved in human right abuses in any part of the country.
“Since I came on board there has been no place for human right violators in the Army.
“The Nigerian Army is established by the constitution, therefore, all aspects of human rights will continue to be respected as enshrined in the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he said.
“The Nigerian Army has strictly adhered to and promotes the rule of law in accordance to all procedures in the course of its operations”, he said.
He said that the war on terror was a collective responsibility and urged all Nigerians and stakeholders to work toward ending the insurgency.
“We have a task and this task must be accomplished”, Mr. Burutai said.
On his part, the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, reiterated President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment toward supporting the army in ensuring the protection of lives and properties of the citizens.
Mr. Malami said Mr. Buhari was equally committed to achieving a positive balance between NBA and the army to win the war against terrorism and ensure sustainable human rights.
He commended the Nigerian Army for its continuous success in the fight against terrorism.
The conference was attended by senior army officers, lawyers and members of Borno executive council.