President Muhammadu Buhari-led government has reacted to the United Nations’ complaint about human rights abuses, handling of El-Zakzaky/Shiites agitation, killings among others.
Amb. Audu Kadiri, Permanent Representative of Nigeria to the United Nations Office in Geneva, led the Federal government’s delegation at the Human Rights Committee review meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
In a statement released by his office on Wednesday, the envoy said Boko Haram was an existential threat and there were no “absolute liberties, not anywhere, as one person’s liberty ended where another person’s liberty started”.
On the issues of detention of the Shiites leader, Kadiri noted that there were two jurisdictions and two trials: one at the federal level, the other at the state level and bail was not possible for the latter trial.
Kadiri said that he had been granted bail in Abuja and had subsequently faced criminal accusations in a different state where he was now on trial
The delegation added that those who were willing to repent were being rehabilitated while those not ready to change had to undergo the judicial process.
He explained that there were over one million internally displaced persons in camps due to Boko Haram’s actions, and those responsible had to be tried.
Kadiri noted that the Nigerian Government had established the North-East Development Commission to address comprehensively issues related to internal displacement, by, for instance, helping people resettle and regain their livelihoods.
The delegation said a national treaty depository had been created in the Ministry of Justice so that people could be abreast of conventions and foster compliance on the part of the Government.
The commission had the capacity and resources to fulfil its mandate. Nigeria was a developing country; its resources were limited.
On use of force by security forces, the delegation pointed out that the Nigerian Constitution allowed that the police use reasonable force when necessary, in accordance with the law.
On the issue in Biafra, the delegation said there had been a clash between demonstrators and the army.
Kadiri said that the federal government had always made it clear that when allegations of abuse arose, an entity would be tasked to examine the matter.
On sexual violence against internally displaced persons, Kadiri pointed out that this issue had been reported two years ago, and that the Government had welcomed the constructive remarks and launched an inquiry.