ABUJA – Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, Chairman, National Human Rights Commission, has described the allegations of human rights abuses in the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) Camps as very grave.
Odinkalu made this known in an interview with newsmen in Abuja.
According to him, the commission will do everything humanly possible to get the facts of the matter before taking any action.
“We are currently investigating those allegations and I like to refrain from discussing the details of the investigation.
“I have personally spent some time in the IDP camps looking at what is happening there. My staff are also looking at what is happening there.
“The allegations are fairly mind-bugging and I don’t want to trifle with the investigation, so we will be governed by how quickly we can access the evidence,’’ Odinkalu said.
It would be recalled that the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Mohammed Adoke, had named an Inter-Ministerial Committee to investigate the allegations of rape and child trafficking.
Adoke had said that the committee comprising relevant agencies and security personnel would investigate the matter with a view to holding accountable all those found culpable.
According to him, the allegations, contained in an investigative report titled: “Grim Tales of Rape, Child Trafficking in IDP camps’’, has attracted government’s attention.
“Government’s attention has been drawn to an article published by the International Centre for Investigative Reporting (ICIR), alleging that hundreds of Nigerian children are being trafficked from some of the IDP camps.’’
These camps are set up to cater for people displaced as a result of the insurgency in the North-East.
The minister said that the Federal Government viewed the allegations with serious concern as it concerned the welfare of citizens.
He said that the committee was expected to recommend measures to forestall future occurrences, adding that government had also taken steps to strengthen security around all registered IDP camps.
It would be also recalled that the Director-General of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Mr. Mohammed Sani-Sidi, had also set up a panel to investigate the allegations.