For allegedly failing to prevent the deaths of more than 8,000 people murdered, starved, suffocated, and tortured to death, Amnesty International has requested for the investigation of the Nigerian military, including the former Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Azubuike Ihejirika, and senior military commanders.
In a 133 page report published on June 3, 2015, Amnesty stated that they had a case against five senior officers with citations from over 400 of interviews held with victims, eyewitnesses, including the military sources and leaked defence ministry documents.
The document revealed that since March 2011, more than 7,000 young men and boys died in military detention and more than 1,200 people were unlawfully killed since February 2012.
The report outlined the roles and possible criminal responsibilities of those along the chain of command – up to the Chief of Defence Staff and Chief of Army Staff – and named nine senior Nigerian military figures who should be investigated for command and individual responsibility for the crimes committed.
– General Azubuike Ihejirika ¬- Chief of Army Staff, Sept 2010 – Jan 2014).
– Admiral Ola Sa’ad Ibrahim ¬- Chief of Defence Staff, Oct 2012 – Jan 2014).
– Air Chief Marshal Badeh ¬- Chief of Defence Staff, Jan 2014 – time of writing
– General Ken Minimah ¬- Chief of Army Staff, Jan 2014 – time of writing
– Major General John A.H. Ewansiha
– Major General Obida T Ethnan
– Major General Ahmadu Mohammed
– Brigadier General Austin O. Edokpayi
– Brigadier General Rufus O. Bamigboye
Part of the statement read: “They would be responsible if they knew or if they should have known about the commission of the war crimes and failed to take adequate action to prevent them or to ensure the alleged perpetrators are brought to justice.”
“Nigerian military have arrested at least 20,000 young men and boys since 2009, some as young as nine years old. In most cases they were arbitrarily arrested, often based solely on the word of a single unidentified secret informant. Most were arrested in mass “screening” operations or “cordon-and-search” raids where security forces round up hundreds of men. Almost none of those detained have been brought to court and all have been held without the necessary safeguards against murder, torture and ill-treatment.”
If we recall, the International Criminal Court based revealed that there was insufficient evidence tying Nigeria’s military to systematic and orchestrated atrocities targeting civilians.