Army ready for probe over alleged aborted pregnancies

…investigations must be open and transparent – ​​NHRC

The National Human Rights Commission needs to investigate allegations that the Nigerian military has been running a covert abortion program since at least 2013, in which about 10,000 pregnancies have been aborted, Defense Chief of Staff General Lucky Irabor said. requested on Friday.

The request called for a coalition of more than 228 women’s rights groups under the umbrella of Womenesto to investigate reports of at least 10,000 pregnancies reportedly being forcibly aborted among rescued women and girls. After just 24 hours it was done.

Dr Abiola Akiyode-Afolabi, convener of Womanifesto and executive director of the Women Advocates Research and Documentation Cenyltre, called on the federal government to set up a commission of inquiry in a statement issued in Abuja.

She also said the government should take immediate steps to prevent other young women from becoming further victims of illegal and illegal abortions anywhere in the country.

According to Reuters, 10,000 women and girls were said to have been raped by the Boko Haram Islamic group and pregnancies were said to have been aborted by the Nigerian army.

However, the CDS paid a courtesy call to NHRC Executive Director Tony Ojukwu (SAN) in Abuja, who denied involvement of Nigerian soldiers in such conduct and said the Army was ready to investigate.

Mr Irabor said:

“When I saw it, I felt that this was certainly not ours and did not represent the professional status of the Nigerian Armed Forces.”

He said such actions, as reported by Reuters, do not reflect the professional involvement of the Nigerian military. throughout the country that is ..of the constitution.

“Initially, we felt that there were some extraterritorial powers trying to undermine the forces on the frontlines in the current engagement aimed at bringing peace to our land. I have to wake up,” he said.

He said the NHRC, as a government agency to ensure basic human rights of Nigerians are not violated, should investigate Reuters’ allegations against the Nigerian military.

“If you probably haven’t thought about it, it’s in that light that I’ve formally come to inform you,” he said, assuring a commission of the military’s cooperation in the course of the investigation. did.

CDS said:

“Our doors are open to you as you wish in the course of any investigation you wish to conduct. We guarantee that you will be able to ask questions that you believe to be true.

“We are doing this because we are very transparent in our official engagements and have nothing to fear.”

Irabor said the Nigerian military has codified various operational rules and regulations, as well as rules of engagement, in accordance with international humanitarian law and other relevant laws.

Over the years, the military has observed the NHRC’s very important role and its contribution to ensuring that the military lives within the country’s laws, according to the CDS.

Ojuk said the defense secretary’s request was in line with the NHRC’s decision to investigate the allegations in the Reuters report.

He told guests that the commission’s investigative process must meet the international human rights standards necessary for the kinds of investigations requested by Ilabo.

He said investigations must be open, transparent and consistent with the principles of fair hearing, accountability and discrimination, and panels must respond to the veracity of their concerns.

Ojukwu said the commission would soon announce further steps toward forming a panel of inquiry into the Reuters report.

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