Tobi Soniyi in Abuja
A civil society organisation, Human Rights Writers Association (HURIWA), has faulted the claim by Amnesty International that the Nigerian authorities failed to investigate the killings of detainees in Giwa Barrack in Borno State.
In a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, HURIWA’s Executive Director, Emmanuel Onwubiko, accused Amnesty International of planning to undermine the counter terrorism against Boko Haram.
He also accused AI of taking the side of insurgents and cared less about the lives of thousands of Nigerian security men and women killed by the insurgents.
He said: “Why can’t Amnesty International organise international marches in remembrance of the 25,000 innocent Nigerians massacred by these same terrorists that Amnesty International is holding brief for?”
Onwubiko said AI’s reports on Nigeria were based on hearsay and discredited.
He said: “This UK based organisation which only few months ago set up a small office in Abuja had prior to its actual physical location in Nigeria authored a report in which many second hand information and hear say accounts of some doubtful participants in the theatre of war told tales of massive killings of BH terrorists for which this body severally used their extensive media network to cajole the hierarchy of the Nigeria military to investigate on one hand but on another breath this same organization sent a copy of this unsubstantiated reports on the North-east of Nigeria counter terrorism war to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
“We in HURIWA challenged the scientific veracity of that report based on some manifest errors that characterized it and for the fact that this organization singled out some top Generals for indictment over war crime and carefully left out others in the counter terror war that commenced since 2009.
“Amnesty International was invited to a meeting by the army hierarchy headed by Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai and we happened to be the only two other Nigerian based NGO that participated at that close door meeting the other group was CLEEN Foundation the US funded NGO.
“In that closed door session the army brought evidence which repudiated the claims made by Amnesty International and the representatives of this UK organisation couldn’t justify some of the claims contained in the report and commended the army for even initiating a move to deploy self disciplinary mechanisms to investigate these allegations and called for an independent investigation. One clear fact that was that majority of those who attended that briefing session which spanned over three hours broke down in years when video evidence of the atrocities against civilians committed by suspected terrorists were broadcasted.
“Still AI has continued to unleash media propaganda against the army concerning this same matter for which the military authority showed credible evidence of the genocide carried out by Boko Haram terrorists as if the organisation is worried about the so called human rights of terrorists but is not saying a word on why arrested masterminds of mass killings and terrorism have yet to be punished severely for these grave crime.”