Nigerian Military Chief Denies Shocking Human Rights Violation Allegations
On Friday, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in Nigeria, Gen. Lucky Irabor, appeared before the National Human Rights Commission investigative panel to address allegations made by Reuters about human rights violations committed by the Nigerian military during counter-insurgency operations in the Northeast. The allegations were published in a three-part report in December 2022.Irabor strongly denied the allegations, calling them both shocking and spurious. He expressed his surprise at the report and stated that there was no evidence to support the claims made by Reuters. In particular, he disputed allegations of the military’s involvement in the stigmatization of women who bore children for Boko Haram insurgents and claims of a program to stop the regeneration of Boko Haram children.Irabor challenged Reuters to provide the names of the officers who allegedly gave them this information so that they could appear before the panel. He stressed that the military operates in a hierarchical manner and there is no evidence of any such program in the armed forces.Irabor emphasized that the armed forces are professional and disciplined, and that anyone who seeks to disparage the men and women of the armed forces is doing them a great disservice. The panel, led by retired justice Abdu Aboki of the Supreme Court, thanked Irabor for his cooperation.