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Crimes Against IDPs

 Access to Justice  ( A2Justice) a non profit making organisation has called on the Federal Government  (FG) to strengthen oversight on Internal Displacement Camps, and…

 Access to Justice  ( A2Justice) a non profit making organisation has called on the Federal Government  (FG) to strengthen oversight on Internal Displacement Camps, and instate procedures to avoid extortion, exploitation and starvation, as well as provide adequate reliefs and assuagement to all those who have been victims of abuses in all IDP camps.  

In a statement signed by Joseph Otteh, Convener, Access to Justice and made available to news men, Tuesday, the organization also called for the immediate reversal of FG’s statement on AI’s report and called for a prompt, impartial investigation of the allegations contained in the report by an independent panel of persons widely known for their integrity and independence.
 
"Pending the outcome of investigations and to reduce risks of interference with any investigation, suspend all military officers, including the Chief of Army Staff who have either been implicated in, or have control over units or divisions where those implicated belong to. 
 
"Hold all those who are found to have committed verified abuses accountable, by bringing them to justice", A2Justice said.
 
 Amnesty International had published a report titled: ‘They betrayedus’women who survived boko haram raped, starved and detained in Nigeria”. The report alleges that the Nigerian military “has carried out systematic patterns of violence and abuse against this population, including war crimes and possible crimes against humanity”. 
 
The allegations include rape in exchange for food. The Nigerian government, alongside the military, has dismissed the report before investigating the allegations. The Presidency through the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, denounced the report as a “wild goose chase report”, saying the report “is short on credibility” because “it does not contain factual leads that could have laid the foundation for investigative actions” and that “proper description of such people constituting the source of information was not provided.”
 
According to A2Justice, "It is unfortunate that the Nigerian government chose to vilify a report whose claims it has not bothered to investigate. This knee-jerk reaction painfully, further cheapens and reduces the lives and dignity of all those whose stories were the subject of the allegations, who are already broken by the Nigerian State’s failure to safeguard from abuse and exploitation.
 
"No responsible government will dismiss grave allegations of the horrendous abuses of its citizens without first undertaking an independent inquiry and satisfying itself of the truthfulness of the claims made."
 
"In this case, a government which vaunts that it takes human rights abuses seriously has committed itself to the position that that allegations of serious atrocities made against agents of the State are unfounded without lifting a finger to verify them", A2Justice said. 

"The grounds for dismissing the report, according to A2Justice are deplorable, as the FG says “proper description of such people constituting the source of information was not provided”. 
 
"How is it tenable for government to request for sources of information in the 21st century before it can act on complaints of the possible commission of war crimes, particularly when those sources can be exposed to further traumatization or possible destruction should they be revealed or outed? A2Justice asked.