NHRC Inaugurates Panel To Investigate Allegation Nigerian Military Aborted Pregnancies Of Boko Haram Victims

The National Human Rights Commission Commission (NHRC) on Tuesday, inaugurated a Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in the Implementation of Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East (SIIP-North East) by the Nigerian Military.


The inauguration which held in Abuja follows a 3-part report by Reuters which alleged that operatives in the northeast aborted over 10,000 babies.

The report had claimed that victims were abducted and raped by Islamist militants but were later rescued by the military before their pregnancies were reportedly aborted.

Members of the inaugurated panel include, Ms Kemi Okonyedo, representing Women Rights Organisation, Barrister Azubuike Nwankenta, representing NBA, Major General Letam Wiwa rtd (Military Law and Intelligence Expert), Dr. Maisaratu Bakari (Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynecology (Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital Yola), Dr. Fatima Akilu (Humanitarian Expert, representing Civil Society), and Ms. Halima Nuradeen (Psychologist, representing Youths).

Supreme Court Justice, Abdu Aboki, retired is the Chairman of the panel.

Speaking in his welcome address, the NHRC Executive Secretary, Tony Ojukwu SAN, maintained that the Reuters reports are grievous and present a major concern to all human rights stakeholders.


“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, the National Human Rights Commission has invoked its inherent, express and incidental powers as contained in sections 5 and 6 of the NHRC Act as amended to constitute a special independent investigative panel,” Ojukwu said.

Outlining the objective of the panel, Ojukwu said those found wanting by the panel will face prosecution in line with the 1999 constitution, urging the members to abide by the terms of reference without interference.

“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).

“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).

“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.

“Propose Remedial steps that may enhance the professional conduct of military personnel in counter-insurgency operations.

“Any other related issues that the SIIP North-East may be considered appropriate,” he added saying members of the panel are drawn from law, human rights, medicine and psychology, military intelligence and humanitarian affairs background.

Ojukwu urged state governments, the Nigerian Military, the United Nations System, international and local non-governmental organisations and the traditional and religious institutions to support and cooperate with the panel so it could achieve its mandate.


Speaking after their inauguration, Justice Aboki JSC thanked the National Human Rights Commission given them the assignment to undetake.

He explained that from his years of experience as a judge, protecting human rights and ensuring accountability and remedies for Violations are cardinal principle of every 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,” Aboki said.

The panel urged victims to come forward when sitting begins, promising to be fair to all.

“Our Panel is encouraged and impressed by the concerns that have been shown by Nigerians and out international partners since the publication of the reports. It is now our job as a panel to investigate all the allegations of gross human rights violations raised in the reports

“Our Panel will endeavour in every respect to abide by the rules of natural justice. We will be fair and just to all manner of persons who appear before us as victims, witness, respondent, Officer, Counsel and citizens. This panel has been constituted to bring justice to investigate human rights violations and bring justice to victims where appropriate. We will be guided by this throughout our sittings and will strive to do substantial justice devoid of technicalities,” the panel chairman vowed.

Recall that when Reuters released its report, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Lucky Irabor dismissed the allegations as ” nonsense”.

However, he visited the NHRC afterwards saying the Nigerian military will accept the findings of a panel established by the Commission.


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