AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL REPORT BATTLING WITH CREDIBILITY- PRESIDENCY

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The presidency has said that Amnesty International’s (AI) report alleging human rights violation by Nigerian security agencies is inherently battling with credibility, falling vehemently short of evidential narration. Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on media and publicity, made this position known in a statement in Abuja. The human rights organisation will on Thursday, May 24, 2018 release the report titled ‘They Betrayed Us: Women who survived Boko Haram subject to violence and abuse in Nigeria’. But the presidential aide said the report is short on credibility because it does not contain factual leads that could have laid the foundation for investigative actions.

He went further to highlight that findings were attributed to people but proper description of such people constituting the source of information was not provided. According to Garba Shehu: “Engagement was claimed to have been made with Nigerian authorities but which authority is it, is not provided with clarity”. “This then is just a wild goose chase report, in essence. In some breath, the report seemed like the one in 2015, and the one in 2016, and the one after that year, the same things being recycled again and again. “It ignores the fact of the existing mechanisms put in place by the military, as a self-correcting step and the high-level committee constituted by the presidency to examine any such claims”.

The media aide observed that over this period of time, the Nigerian military had indeed established cases of abuse and punishments meted out from orderly room trials and court martials that resulted in losses of rank, dismissals, trials and convictions by civil courts. On Wednesday, May 23, 2018, some protesters stormed the office of Amnesty International in Abuja, accusing the human rights group of blackmailing the military. The Nigeria defence headquarters had also described the report as false.

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