Home News US accuses Buhari government of human rights abuses, massive corruption

US accuses Buhari government of human rights abuses, massive corruption

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The United States government has released a report indicting the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for massive corruption and human rights abuses in Nigeria.
The US Department of State in its “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017” blamed the reluctance of the Buhari administration to properly investigate allegations of abuses, especially by members of the armed forces and top officials and prosecute those indicted as the main impediment to fighting rights violations.
The report is coming just few days before President Buhari meets the American President, Donald Trump, in Washington DC.
The State Department cited the lingering Shiite imbroglio and the extrajudicial killing of members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) as human rights abuses and violation of rule of law.
It also cited the continued detention of former National Security Adviser (NSA) Colonel Sambo Dasuki (retd) despite several court others for his immediate release and compensation.
In the 2017 Country Report on Human Rights released last Friday in Washington D.C and posted on the website of the State Department, the U.S. government said impunity remained widespread at all levels of government in Nigeria.
It added that the Buhari administration lacked transparency.
The report listed the following as the most significant human rights abuses in Nigeria: extrajudicial and arbitrary killings; disappearances and arbitrary detentions;
torture, particularly in detention facilities, including sexual exploitation and abuse;
use of children by some security elements;
looting and destruction of public properties;
civilian detentions in military facilities, often based on flimsy evidence;
denial of fair public trial;
executive influence on the judiciary; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights;
restrictions on freedoms of speech, press, assembly, and movement; official corruption;
lack of accountability in cases involving violence against women and children,
female genital mutilation/cutting and sexual exploitation of children; trafficking in persons; early and forced marriages; criminalisation of status and same-sex sexual conduct based on sexual orientation and genderidentity; and, forced and bonded labour.
The reported noted that: “Although the law provides criminal penalties for conviction of official corruption, the government did not implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
“Massive, widespread, and pervasive corruption affected all levels of government and the security services.”
The report further indicted the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), stressing that the EFCC often did not observe all due process safeguards and refused to obey court orders.
The report said “In its pursuit of corruption, the EFCC often did not observe all pertinent due process safeguards.
“In November, the Economic Community of West African States Court of Justice declared unlawful the arrest and detention in 2015 of former national security adviser, Sambo Dasuki.
“A court ordered him released on bail in a case brought by the EFCC for the alleged diversion of 13.6 billion naira ($$443.2 million) intended to purchase military material during the Jonathan administration. Despite the court order, he remained in detention”.
It further noted that government did not often take steps to prosecute officials who perpetuated impunity whether in the security forces or elsewhere in government.
It cited various instances including the atrocities allegedly committed in the North-east by members of the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) and the refusal to bring to justice military men who killed members of the Shia group Islamic Movement of Nigeria in 2015 in circumstances adjudged to be extrajudicial.
“As of November, the government had not adequately investigated or held police or military personnel accountable for extrajudicial killings of supporters of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra”.
The report maintained that “Authorities generally did not hold police, military, or other security force personnel accountable for the use of excessive or deadly force or for the deaths of persons in custody.
“State and federal panels of inquiry investigating suspicious deaths generally did not make their findings public.
“In August, the acting president (Yemi Osinbajo) convened a civilian-led presidential investigative panel to review compliance of the armed forces with human rights obligations and rules of engagement. As of November, the panel had not issued a report.”

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