News / Africa

Group to Take Nigeria Government to International Court

Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
x
Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
Nigerian soldiers are seen on the outskirts of Maiduguri in the north-eastern state of Borno in this May 13, 2013, file photo.
Peter Clottey
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF) will file a complaint with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) accusing Nigeria’s government of human rights violations, according to spokesman Ango Abdullahi. 

“What we are doing now is to organize our evidence that would make it possible for us to make a very strong case against the government and its agencies, or up to individuals who may be complicit, in terms of the human rights violations that have been taking place in the last few years,” said Abdullahi.

He said the group has put together a team of lawyers that has been gathering evidence indicating that national army soldiers were involved in the recent killing of civilians at Baga.

“There is sufficient evidence, from our point of view, in terms of human rights violations that have been going on with a lot of impunity in the last three years or so around the activities of the government and its agencies and around the country,” said Abdullahi. “I think it’s because nobody seems to really take the matter seriously to draw attention, not only to other parts of the world, to the Nigerian authorities themselves.”

But supporters of the government say the administration is mandated to protect unarmed civilians and resolve the country’s internal security crisis. They accused the NEF of failing to engage the government in its attempt to prevent violence, often carried out by members of the Islamist group, Boko Haram.

Abdullahi denies speculation that the Elders’ Forum is in any way linked to Boko Haram.

“We didn’t create the insurgents. It may have been created by somebody, but it is up to the government to prove a case that the insurgency has been created deliberately to cause havoc in the country,” said Abdullahi. “It happens that perhaps if there is any indication … that this matter has been politicized, it must have been politicized by the government or its agencies.”

Boko Haram, which is based in Nigeria’s north, has been accused of carrying out violent attacks in an attempt to force the country to adopt strict Islamic law.

Human Rights Watch says Boko Haram-related violence has killed an estimated 3,000 people since 2009, a toll that includes killings by security forces.

Abdullahi says the government has been unable to resolve the security threats members of Boko Haram pose to the country.

“If this sect had been treated like many other sects that we’ve had in this country for many years, perhaps we would not be where we are now,” continued said Abdullahi, “there [have been] thousands of people detained in terribly inhumane conditions all over the country. Among the thousands of people that have been in detention for many years now, only one as far as I know is in court now.”       

Abdullahi says the Elders group has decided to hold the government accountable for the extrajudicial killings he says are sometimes carried out by military officials.
Clottey interview with Prof. Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for NEF
Clottey interview with Prof. Ango Abdullahi, spokesman for NEFi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: nik from: US
May 22, 2013 2:51 PM
So Nigeria is to release women and children prisoners. How come the western media not report the capture and imprisonment of women and children to begin with. Any government that uses its army and police force to torture and kill its innocent citizen and imprisons women and children looses all legitimacy. Nigeria is killing its own people and surely committing crimes against humanity.

by: Nigerian from: US
May 21, 2013 9:48 PM
This same Northerners were pleased with the deployment of soldiers to the creeks of Niger-Delta in 2009. Mr.Clottey may contact Sahara Reporters for a copy of the Press Release.
In Response

by: Garden-City Boy from: Lagos
May 22, 2013 9:59 AM
Unscrupulous liars and miserable who see only themselves , but never others. If Nigeria must move forward, it needs to shake of those perverts who consider themselves sacred cows that are above the law. In order to move forward, Nigeria must curb awusa impunity, visit them with the consequences of their criminal acts, tame their barbaric instincts. or..... shake them off..

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs