‘Dehumanised settlers can seek legal redress’

A security and intelligence expert, Kabiru Adamu, explained that what happened to those who were dehumanized by the military officers could worsen the security situation of the country.

He noted that the military officers, according to their rule of engagements, are not permitted to torture or dehumanise any suspect the way it appeared in the trending video.

According to him, the troops are only permitted to defend themselves by using their weapons or engaging the adversaries in gun duels during any attempted attack on them.

“I was one of those who condemned the video when I saw it. It is not right as far as professionalism and rule of engagement is concerned,” he said.

He, however, said that the dehumanized person should get a legal representative on their behalf to prosecute their case.

A security analyst and lawyer, Audu Bulama Bukarti, said the video was a terrible watch and a clear violation of the victims’ constitutional rights.

“The constitution and our laws are very clear that every single person arrested and of an offense however the weight of evidence against them must be treated with dignity and respect and must not be tortured.

“What we saw in this video is a clear case of violation of the dignity of human person, torture and disrespect to human beings just because they have been suspected of committing a crime or of being terrorists or bandits. And whatever the level or worth of the allegation against individuals that are arrested by security and law enforcement agencies, their constitutionally guaranteed rights cannot be violated in the way we saw in this video.

“This is most unfortunate, it is most unfortunate because the only difference I emphasize between terrorists and state forces is that state forces obey laws and have laws of engagement while territories violate laws/rules and do not have laws of engagement.

“There are many consequences for these kinds of abuses and for failure to obey rules of engagement. Number one is the fact that this would continue to soil the Nigerian army’s image in the eyes of the international community.

“It has been documented over the years how the Nigerian military violated civilians in the Boko Haram crisis and other crises across the country. This video is only going to add another instance of that kind of abuse.”

“The second key consequence is that these kinds of abuses only end up pushing the victims to the hands or to the clutches of the terrorists. A United Nations report published in September of 2017 found that 71% of young people who joined Boko Haram after the war started actually joined because of these kinds of security abuses by the Nigerian military.

“If we continued to see these kinds of abuses in the North West many more young people who are profiled, who are arrested, who are abuse in this way would join the bandits and end up fighting the Nigerian military and killing civilians because of these kinds of abuses because they want to take revenge because of these kind of abuses.

“I, therefore, call on the Nigerian military to respect the law which they seek to enforce to apply their rules of engagement and to respect the dignity of human person guaranteed by our constitution and international human rights instruments. Only these we can they show a difference between them and the terrorists and win the war against the terrorists.”

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