SIIP-Northeast resumes sitting, visits UMTH on fact finding
As part of effort to unravel the truth in the Reuters report published in December 2022, which alleged various forms of human rights violations by the Nigerian Military, the Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter-Insurgency Operations in North East Nigeria (SIIP-North East) resumed its 7th sitting Maiduguri the Borno State capital and was on a fact-finding mission to the University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital (UMTH).
The Chairman of the panel, Justice Abdu Aboki (rtd) said it has become necessary for the panel to visit the medical facility to seek the support needed in conducting further investigations into the alleged human rights violations mentioned in the Reuters report.
The eminent Jurist said although the medical facility was not categorically mentioned in the Reuters 4- part reports, it became expedient to conduct an investigation in the facility, being a Referral Centre where most of the secondary healthcare cases are brought.
The Secretary of the panel, Mr. Hilary Ogbonna revealed that the panel held its inaugural sitting on the 7th of February 2023 and had conducted similar investigations at both military and Civilian facilities across Adamawa, Borno and Yobe States.
He added that the panel comprises of experts specialties in different fields relevant to the subject of the investigation. He emphasised that as a tertiary Hospital which serves as a major referral Centre, it is imperative to interact with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) and Heads of relevant departments to obtain important information that may be needed to ascertain the truth in the Reuter’s report.
Against this backdrop, Mr. Ogbonna said the panel will be fielding questions to the CMD, HOD obstetrics and gynaecology, HOD Pharmacy, HOD Nursing Services, and HOD Histopathology in other to be in sync with what the panel did at the Secondary medical facilities in the State, which are Borno State Specialist Hospital and Umaru Shehu Ultra-Modern Hospital, all in Maiduguri, Borno State.On his part the CMD of UMTH Prof.
Ahmed Ahijo expressed the readiness of himself and his team to cooperate with the Panel as it conducts its investigations.
It would be recalled that the SIIP-North East was set up by the federal government to unravel the truth about a report by a foreign media Reuters which alleged that the Nigerian Military among other things conducted 10,000 abortions on women during the counter insurgency operation, massacre children as well as other forms of human rights violations. So far, the SIIP-North East has heard testimonies from 8 witnesses at its resumed sitting in Borno state.
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