Leave Nigerian military alone over alleged rights abuses, Senate tells ICC, AI

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The Nigerian Senate has warned the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Amnesty International (AI) against accusations of human rights abuses levelled against the Nigerian Army during the #EndSARS protests.

The warning was issued on Tuesday by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Army, Senator Ali Ndume who vowed to formally move a motion on the floor of the Senate to warn the two international agencies against further comments about the issue of human rights abuse against the Nigerian military.

Senator Ndume who was reacting to a threat by the ICC to investigate cases of human rights abuses by the Nigerian military said that the ICC cannot be the prosecutor without the plaintiff.

He also stated further while speaking with journalists on Tuesday in Abuja that if there are human rights abuses, it is only when there is a failure on the part of the three arms of government to act swiftly that we can draw the attention of the international community to it.

Senator Ndume said; “You cannot cry more than the bereaved and they cannot be the prosecutor without the plaintiff. How can they prosecute without the plaintiff? We have the Nigerian Government, the federal parliament and the nation’s judiciary.

“If there are human rights abuses, it is only when there is a failure on the part of the three arms of government to act swiftly that we can draw the attention of the international community to it.

“There was a kind of confusion that led to the isolated cases of human rights abuses by the Nigerian Army and some of the armed forces. However, we stood up against it that time and that led to some soldiers court-martialed for human rights abuses.

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“Some were even dismissed from the Army. For example, for involving in rape cases; it is not that the Nigerian Army is not doing anything about it. There is a department known as civil-military relations, created by the Nigerian Army to address such cases and they are doing well.

“The power of investigation lies with the National Assembly. Nigerians know where they would report cases of human rights abuses in case it happens anywhere.

“Let the Amnesty International and others leave us alone. These are the same international organisations that refused to give us support needed to fight the insurgency,” he concluded.

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