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Vol 42 No 15

Published 27th July 2001


Nigeria

Murder, pillage, scandal

Military men are portrayed as clowns, thieves and psychopaths in a human rights tribunal

Mountains of facts, many of them highly inconvenient to present and past governments, are emerging from Nigeria's Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission, the home-grown copy of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It was set up by President Olusegun Obasanjo's government to investigate human rights abuses by past military regimes, under the chairmanship of a former Supreme Court Judge, Justice Chukwudifu Oputa, and is inevitably known as the Oputa Panel. From 10,000 petitions received, it has selected 200 cases of alleged human-rights abuses; the Judge says he will make his report to the President by the end of this year.

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