Biafra: IPOB Asks DHQ To Focus Resources Towards ICC, Not In-house Rights C’ttee

By Nwabueze Okonkwo,

The Directorate of Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, has advised  the Nigerian Defence Headquarters to channel the money which they used in setting up a 12-man committee on human rights recently towards hiring a formidable defence attorney who will defend them at the up-coming court case at the International Criminal Court, ICC in the Hague.

IPOB said perhaps, the attorney, if hired, could be able to reduce by a few years, the imminent long jail terms awaiting the killers of unarmed civilians in Aba  as soon as the human rights abuse cases are heard and determined at the ICC in the Hague.

In a press statement issued yesterday and signed by Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, their spokespersons, IPOB described the 12-man committee inaugurated on Monday, March 21, this year by  the Nigerian Defence Headquarters represented by the Chief of Defence Staff, General Abayomi Olonisakin  as a charade and a red-herring strategy of General Olonisakin and his cohorts to deceive the general public and the ICC officials.

According to the statement entitled: “Nigerian defence headquarters and their deceit”, IPOB contended that although it is not clear if the Defence Headquarters was acting based on Section-5(1) CAP A20 L.F.N. 2004 or  trying to save the life and career of  the  never-retiring Buratai , it is pertinent to note that the military cannot investigate a crime committed by itself and come out with a fruitful result.

During the inauguration of the so-called 12-man human rights committee on Monday, March 21, General Olonisakin had noted that each member of the committee was invited to look  into the complaints of human rights abuses leveled against the military.

He also urged the committee to expand their focus beyond the North East, to also include other areas of contention including the issues emanating from clashes with the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, IMN, IPOB, and Rivers State election re-run amongst others. General Olonisakin also stated that  the Armed Forces of Nigeria are always guided by global best practices, Rules of Engagement, ROE for military operations other than war as well as Codes of Conduct for internal security operations.

On the other hand, he warned that the Armed Forces “would not sacrifice professionalism on the platter of lawlessness or extra-judicial conducts of anybody or groups.

“The terms of reference of this committee include “collation and documentation of written complaints, as well as investigation of all the alleged rights violations, interface with human rights bodies, recommend appropriate sanctions where necessary and advice generally on modalities to curtail violations of human rights by troops.”

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