The Senate has asked the International Criminal Court (ICC) and Amnesty International to both stop the criticism of the Nigerian Army over human rights abuses and stop meddling in the affairs of the military service.
Senator Ali Ndume, Chairman of the Senate Army Committee, stated this in an interview with journalists on Tuesday while reacting to the recent statements credited to Amnesty and ICC on the issue of alleged human rights abuse committed by the army.
The ICC had earlier this month announced that it will investigate both the Nigerian Army and the terrorist group, Boko Haram, for alleged human rights abuses in the North-East region, the centre of the war against insurgency in the country.
Also, Amnesty International, a global human rights civil society organisation, in its latest report released in December accused the military of human rights abuses in fighting the Boko Haram insurgency in northern Nigeria.
But responding to the allegations, Ndume said both international bodies cannot act to be more concerned than the stakeholders in Nigeria, arguing that the Nigerian institutions and state is still very functional to investigate such accusations.
The senator warned the two international bodies to leave the army alone, claiming that they refused to provide Nigeria with the necessary to combat the insurgency war when needed.
He said: “You cannot cry more than the bereaved and they cannot be the prosecutor without the plaintiff. How can they prosecute without the plaintiff? We have the Nigerian Government, the federal parliament and the nation’s judiciary.
“If there are human rights abuses, it is only when there is a failure on the part of the three arms of government to act swiftly that we can draw the attention of the international community to it.
“There was a kind of confusion that led to the isolated cases of human rights abuses by the Nigerian Army and some of the armed forces. However, we stood up against it that time and that led to some soldiers court-martialed for human rights abuses.
“Some were even dismissed from the Army. For example, for involving in rape cases; it is not that the Nigerian Army is not doing anything about it. There is a department known as civil-military relations, created by the Nigerian Army to address such cases and they are doing well.
“The power of investigation lies with the National Assembly. Nigerians know where they would report cases of human rights abuses in case it happens anywhere.
“Let the Amnesty International and others leave us alone. These are the same international organisations that refused to give us support needed to fight the insurgency.”