Stop targeting Amnesty International , Falana tells Nigerian Army


Femi Falana
HUMAN rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, yesterday, asked the Nigerian Army to end “attack, harassment and intimidation of Amnesty International and focus instead on addressing the several allegations of serious human rights violations and abuses by the Army.”
In a statement, in Lagos, Mr. Falana said: “The Nigerian military has also been indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Presidential Panel on Procurement of Arms and Ammunition, Judicial Commissions of Enquiry and the International Criminal Court, ICC, on gross human rights abuse and war crimes which are similar to the allegations documented by Amnesty International.”
The Nigerian Army, yesterday, said it would make a case for the closure of the Amnesty Int’l offices in Nigeria, alleging the human rights group “is working hard to destabilise the country.”
But Falana, who faulted the Army’s remarks, said: “I am very concerned that rather than telling Nigerians what they would do to address the very damaging allegations made by Amnesty International of grave human rights abuses against the Nigerian Army and other security agencies the Army is targeting Amnesty simply for working to hold the Army to account.”
Falana’s statement read in part: “The Army should accept responsibility and allow Amnesty International to carry out its human rights work. Stigmatising and maligning the very organizations who stand for human rights would be inconsistent with Nigerian Constitution of 1999 (as amended) and international law, and portray the Army as attempting to cover up the allegations.”