The United States has indicted Nigeria on serious human rights abuses.
In its 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, it alleged that various forms of rights abuses in the country.
The report noted that the insurgency in the North-east by the militant terrorist groups Boko Haram and the Islamic State in West Africa (ISIS-WA) has continued.
The groups it said, “conducted numerous attacks on government and civilian targets, resulting in thousands of deaths and injuries, widespread destruction, the internal displacement of more than two million persons, and external displacement of an estimated 243,875 Nigerian refugees to neighboring countries as of September 30”.
“Significant human rights issues included unlawful and arbitrary killings, including extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, torture, and arbitrary detention, all the above by both government and nonstate actors; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; unlawful infringement on citizens’ privacy rights; criminal libel; violence against and unjustified arrests of journalists;
substantial interference with the rights of peaceful assembly and freedom of association in particular for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) persons and religious minorities; widespread and pervasive corruption; crimes involving violence targeting LGBTI persons; criminalization of same-sex sexual conduct between adults; and forced and bonded labour.”
It noted that the government took some steps to investigate alleged abuses but there were few public reports of prosecutions of officials who committed violations, whether in the security forces or elsewhere in the government.
The report alleged that impunity remained widespread at all levels of government.
“No charges were filed in some of the significant allegations of human rights violations by security forces and cases of police or military extortion or other abuse of power.The Borno State government provided financial and in-kind resources to the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF), a nongovernmental self-defense militia that at times coordinated with the military. Human rights organizations and press reporting alleged the CJTF committed human rights abuses,” it explained.
The report disclosed that the government took few steps to investigate or punish CJTF members who committed human rights abuses, including past recruitment and use of child soldiers.
“Boko Haram recruited and forcefully conscripted child soldiers and carried out scores of person-borne improvised explosive device (IED) attacks–many by young women and girls forced into doing so–and other attacks on population centers in the Northeast and in Cameroon, Chad, and Niger. Abductions by Boko Haram and ISIS-WA continued. Both groups subjected many women and girls to sexual and gender-based violence, including forced marriages, sexual slavery, and rape. The government investigated attacks by Boko Haram and ISIS-WA and took steps to prosecute their members, although the majority of suspects were held in military custody without charge,” the report said.