The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on the federal government to ensure immediate removal from military detention facilities the 526 Boko Haram suspects who were recently discharged by the Federal High Court sitting in Wawa Cantonment, Kainji New Bussa, Niger State to ensure that their rights are protected in accordance with the law.
The Acting Executive Secretary of the Commission, Tony Ojukwu Esq who made this call in Abuja on Monday said “there is urgent need to take appropriate steps to remove the discharged persons from Military facilities to civil facilities pending the beginning of their rehabilitation and de-radicalization programme”.
Mr Ojukwu stated that as part of the statutory mandate of promotion, protection and enforcement of human rights in the country the Commission led a delegation comprising its staff, Civil Society Organization to observe the second phase of the trails of suspects detained in connection with terrorism and insurgency in the North East of Nigeria, with the aim of ensuring that the rights of detainees are protected in the course of their trails.
The NHRC Boss who is also the Commission’s team leader in the on-going human rights/humanitarian assessment mission in the North East raised concern on the continued detention of one Lububata Yakubu; a woman who was ordered by the court to be released and sent to rehabilitation since October, 2017 but had remained in detention up to February, 2018 despite the order of the court.
He also advocated for deployment of modern intelligence gathering and investigation techniques for the Police and other law enforcement agencies so as to ensure evidence-based investigation necessary for conviction.
Besides, the Commission’s Acting Chief Executive Officer called for the establishment of family courts with a view to ensuring that justice is served in all cases irrespective of age and appropriate measures put in place to protect juvenile offenders as well as securing the attendance of their parents or guardians at such trials in line with the provisions of the Child’s Rights Act, 2003.
Finally, he called for a speedy trial of the remaining Boko Haram suspects still in custody to ensure that their right to fair hearing is protected in line with the national and international laws.