A human rights NGO, Intersociety, has kicked against attempts by the Buhari administration to shield the immediate Chief of Army Staff Lt-Gen Yusuf Buratai from prosecution for alleged abuses.
In a statement, it said: “The haste, desperation and panics behind the announcement by the Government of Nigeria of the nomination of the immediate past Service Chiefs, particularly the immediate past Army Chief, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai as ‘non-career ambassadors’, are a clear indication that ‘the heats are on the horrendous crimes perpetrators and their patrons and their houses are on fire.”
In a statement made available to NewsProbe Friday, and signed by Emeka Umeagbalasi, Obianuju Igboeli, Esq., and Ndidiamaka Bernard, Esq., Intersociety noted that the appointment showed also “that ‘Marabas’, ‘Pastors’ and ‘Talismans’ possibly hired by them for physical and spiritual fortification and protection have exhaustively lost the battle’. The pro bloodshed activists or ‘killer-Army human rights contractors’ have also not slept with their eyes closed. The latest move by the Nigerian Government is not only suicidal and amount to inching the perpetrators closer to int’l iron bars of prison but also a clear indication that the spirits of thousands of the massacred and the disappeared are at work and very revengefully active.”
The statement added, “It is a truism and popularly settled position that atrocity crimes such as crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide and their sub-heads are better not perpetrated while in office than trying to cover them while out of office. Also atrocity crimes when perpetrated, investigated, published and archived automatically go with at least five damnable consequences on the personalities and characters of their perpetrators; namely: (1) image damage and ruination-reducing a perpetrator or perpetrators to the status of ‘walking corpse(s)’; (2) international pariah or baggage status, (3) victims or recipients of life jail, (4) spiritual damnation and restlessness and (5) ostracism in the land of their benevolent ancestors and perfect spirits.
“It must hereby be made boldly clear that whether in the ‘fourth countries’ and battered republics or anywhere in the world, there are no immunity, peace and hiding place for perpetrators of crimes against humanity, war crimes and crimes of genocide. The Int’l Criminal Laws including the Rome Statute and the Geneva Conventions have no provisions for ‘diplomatic’ and ‘state office’ immunities for those accused of or involved in the perpetration of the crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity-all of which were perpetrated in ‘industrial scale’ by the named key retired and serving military and police officers in Nigeria or any part thereof. Crimes of such gravity are also not bound or ousted by time. This is more so when the ‘ambassadorial nominees’ will not die in office as ‘ambassadors of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’.
“Further, the ‘non- career and neophyte ambassadorial nominees’ and their nominators are tactless, panicky and suicidal in their calculations and decisions. This is because instead of ‘bringing them closer to international bars of prison’ by seeking to make them ‘non-career ambassadors’, they would have been better ‘protected’ or ‘shielded’ momentarily if a minor federal cabinet reshuffle was made to make them Ministers of Defense, Interior and National Security Adviser, but the gods and the spirits of the massacred and the disappeared are actively at work. Intersociety also wishes to point out that among the four ex Service Chiefs; there is no documented evidence at its disposal linking the former Chief of Naval Staff (Ibas) to the perpetrated atrocity crimes, but the trios of immediate past COAS, CAS and CDS have serious cases to answer.
“Finally, we see the Nigerian Government’s latest move as ‘a victory’ for the apostles of justice. Deciding to retain the atrocity crimes perpetrators as ‘non-career ambassadors’ with available spaces and diplomatic titles for them likely going to be ‘Nigerian envoys to the battered or failed republics’ or ‘the fourth world countries’ is keeping them at no hiding place with diplomatic tags – thereby making it difficult for them to go out of the prime eyes and advocacy searchlights of the lords and the apostles of justice. It would have been difficult to locate them if they are allowed to clandestinely relocate to their Afghanistan or Somali or Yemeni cave castles. It is therefore our firm promise that wherever the named perpetrators and others go or posted, we and other int’l justice apostles, through our golden pens, intellects and databases, shall avail the authorities of their host territories the catalogues of their atrocity crimes back home in Nigeria.”