Connect with us


NHRC inaugurates panel on human rights violations in Counter-Insurgency operations



The National human rights commission (NHRC) on Tuesday inaugurated a special investigative panel on alleged human rights violations in Counter-Insurgency operations in the North east.

Following the allegations of gross human rights violations contained in the three-part report published in December 2022 on military operations in the north east by media group Reuters hence the panel.

The international media organisation had alleged that the Military was involved in massacre of children as well as other Sexual and Gender Based Violence(SGBV) in the North East.

However, the military has refuted the allegations saying that it was a ploy to malign the image of the Nigerian Armed Forces which has been at the forefront of the counter insurgency efforts in the North East.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS), General Lucky Irabor visited the Commission in Dec.2022 with respect to the allegations.

He told the Executive Secretary that the military is willing and ready for any probe, particularly as it relates to Reuter’s report as stated above.

The executive secretary, Mr Tony Ojukwu, SAN speaking at the event in Abuja ,said the National Human Rights Commission has invoked its inherent, express and incidental powers.

He added that the said power is contained in sections 5 and 6 of the NHRC Act as amended to constitute a special independent investigative panel.

” We are here today to present to the public, the Chairman and members of this panel whose terms of reference I will now have the honour of enumerating as follows:

” Investigate allegations of gross violations of national and international human rights laws/principles alleged against the Nigerian Armed Forces in the three reports by Reuters. (Sections 5(a)(b)(j) and 6(1)(a) of the NHRC Act, 2010).

” To receive memorandum from individuals and organisations with interest in the subject matter of the mandate of the SIIP North-East, especially human rights, security and humanitarian organisations working in the North-East.

” Make appropriate determinations as to culpability of individuals or institutions as may be deemed necessary in each circumstance. (Section 5(j) of the NHRC Act 2010).

” Make determination as to the damages or compensation payable in relation to any violation of human rights where it deems this necessary in the circumstances of the case (sec. 6(e) of the NHRC Act, 2010).

“Refer any matter of human rights violations requiring prosecution to the Attorney General of the Federation or of a State, as the case may be. (Section 5(p) of the NHRC Act, 2010) he said.

According to Ojukwu, the panel will also make recommendations to government on   Institutional, Policy and Regulatory measures to be taken to integrate human rights principles and practices into military and counter-insurgency operations.

In addition he said, the panel will propose Remedial steps that may enhance the professional conduct of military personnel in counter-insurgency operations.

” Membership of this panel is drawn from major professional backgrounds relating to the allegations contained in the report.

” These includes law and human rights, medicine and psychology, military intelligence and humanitarian affairs.

” The National Human Rights Commission is honoured that these eminent Nigerians have agreed to share their time, talents and wealth of experience with the Commission he said. .

He reminded them that the allegations contained in the aforementioned reports are grievous and present a major concern to all of us in the human rights field.

” As I inaugurate this panel today, it is the hope of the Commission and indeed every Nigerian that this panel will work hard with all the human and other resources at your disposal to investigate and unravel the truth behind these allegations and ensure that justice is done in all appropriate cases.

” The Commission has given you the mandate and all necessary incidental powers to achieve the terms of reference and objectives for the establishment of this Panel.

” We are convinced that we have chosen the right team for this work he said.

Ojukwu called for the full support and cooperation of all stakeholders in the humanitarian efforts in the north east for this Panel to achieve its mandate.

” We welcome the pledge by the Chief of Defence Staff that the military institution will cooperate with this investigation and the subsequent deployment of a Military Liaison to the secretariate of the Panel.

“To protect human rights and ensure accountability for violations is a sacred duty which all of us as the human family have a mission to uphold” he said.

Speaking, retired Justice Abdu Aboki, chairman thanked the commission on behalf of other members for finding them worthy of the monumental assignment.

” Protecting human rights and ensuring accountability and remedies for Violations are cardinal principle of very democracy and civilised society.

” Human rights are God’s gift to humanity. They confer dignity to humankind and make us special beings.

“Their violations by any person or institutions, should be treated with all sense of justice and accountability he said.

According to him, thePanel is encouraged and impressed by the concerns that have been shown by Nigerians and international partners since the publication of the reports.

He added that It is now their job as a panel to investigate all the allegations of gross human rights violations raised in the reports .

“The membership of our Panel has been carefully drawn from major groups and constituencies that have expertise, relevance and impact on human rights, justice, humanitarian response and medicine.

“| am confident that with the support and cooperation of the Commission, the governments of the states of the north east and the stakeholders in the north east military and humanitarian responses, we will deliver on this monumental task before us.

“Our Panel will endeavour in every respect to abide by the rules of natural justice he said.

He added that they will be fair and just to all manner of persons who appear before them as victims, witness, respondent, Officer, Counsel and citizens.

NAN reports that members of the panel are Justice Abdu Aboki, rtd Supreme Court justice ( Chairman), Ms Kemi Okonyedo, representing Women Rights Organisation, Mr Azubuike Nwankenta, representing NBA

Others are Maj Gen. Letam Wiwa rtd (Military Law and Intelligence Expert), Dr. Maisaratu Bakari (Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital Yola).

Also, Dr Fatima Akilu (Humanitarian Expert, representing Civil Society) and Ms. Halima Nuradeen (Psychologist, representing Youths)


Police on trail of man over homosexual practice



Men of the Nigerian Police Force are reportedly on a manhunt for one Mr. Okechukwu Andrew Ogbonna, of 2, Owoseni Street, Oshodi, Lagos State who has allegedly contravened the Same-sex Marriage Prohibition Act of 2013 by allegedly publicly contracting a same-sex marriage with one Mr. Joshua his alleged partner.

A source noted that the said Mr Ogbonna is now at large, and the police have turned to his aged mother and legal wife to ensure his re-arrest and prosecution.

The suspect was arrested on the 25th day of May 2022 after the duo were seen in a compromised position publicly and he was  subsequently granted bail on the 27th of 2022.

Continue Reading


Divestments by foreign companies presents opportunities for strategic partnerships, capacity building of indigenous players – FG



The Federal Government through the Minister of Petroleum Resources (Oil), Heineken Lokpobiri has argued that divestments by foreign companies in the oil and gas industry presents opportunities for strategic partnerships and capacity building of indigenous players.

The country has recorded International oil companies divesting i from Nigerian crude oil and gas, selling off their assets and seeking other revenue streams. Nigeria currently has five international oil companies still operating in the country: Shell Producing Development Company, Chevron, TotalEnergies, ExxonMobil and Eni.

Represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Amb.Gabriel Aduda at the 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum hosted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenogoa, he urged stakeholders to remain calm and not be alarmed by divestments hitting the oil and gas industry.

According to him, divestments come along with opportunities and this opportunities must be given attention.

“We recognize that divestment presents various challenges but also presents opportunities for local capacity building and technology transfer.” He said.

The Minister urged the industry to embrace challenges posed by divestments to promote diversification.

He identified that the stakeholders must forge ahead with a vision where the oil and gas industry serves as a catalyst for socio economic development.

The Minister also reiterated the commitment of the Government to foster local content development.

He reiterated the commitment of the FG to promoting decarbonization, cleaner and sustainable energy practices.

The Minister revealed that the government is investing heavily in technology and fostering innovation to reducing emissions.

“To achieve this goals, collaboration amongst local players and communities is paramount to promote clearer energy initiatives and investments.” The Minister stated.

Continue Reading


IPPG seeks review of NOGICD act to promote competition, investments



The Independent Petroleum Producers Group (IPPG) has called for a review of some sections of the Nigeria Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (NOGICD) 2010 to promote competition and increase investments.

Speaking at the 12th Practical Nigerian Content Forum hosted by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenogoa, Abdulrazaq Isa, Chairman of the IPPG and CEO of the Waltersmith Petroman Oil Limited said: “Our industry is witnessing a transformational shift and this continues to underscore the repositioning of our industry.”

“As an industry, we must remain focused and rapidly exploit our vast hydrocarbon assets for the economic development of our nation. It is therefore important that we look inward to develop the socio-economic landscape of our country.”

“The NOGICD act 2010 is capable of unlocking the economic potential of Nigeria and being an enabler for rapid industrialization.”

Abdulrazaq urged the NCDMB to ensure that local content policies are evaluated and fit for purpose and not counterproductive to the industry’s growth and cost targets.

The IPPG Chairman identified the human capital development requirement of the act as a case point noting that it amounts to multiplication of levies and invariably leads to higher project costs as the companies themselves don’t benefits from the funding dedicated to developing human capital.

He also explained that the multiplicity of levies though unintended to promote local content participation is contributing to low compliance with the act and divestment of investments by foreign operators.

Abdulrazaq noted that the oil and gas industry is a global market and thus as much as the government wants to priotize local content, it must also make the industry globally competitive.

He highlighted that the government must contijue to recognize foreign oil and gas companies as important as they have a part to play in technology transfer pending when local players improve their capacity to support offshore exploration.

The IPPG Chairman also praised the NCDMB ES for raising the bar in local content development.

He noted that the Practical Nigerian Content has always provided a platform for fostering key colloborations in developing the NOGICD for local content development.

The 12th Practical Nigerian Content Feoum holding in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State is themed “Deepening Nigerian Content amidst divestments, domestification and decarbonisation.”

Continue Reading