US, UK ‘revoke visas’ of senior military officers over ‘human rights abuse’

The US embassy and British high commission in Nigeria have reportedly withdrawn and denied entry visa to some serving and retired Nigerian Army officers.

According to THISDAY, this was disclosed in a report of an army panel set up to investigate alleged human rights abuse levelled against the military by Amnesty International (AI).

While presenting the findings at a press conference in Abuja, Nuhu Angbazo, chief of military/civil affairs, had said the army was not guilty of the accusations.

He said though no court of law nor board of enquiry had found the military guilty of human rights abuse, “at least two diplomatic missions either revoked or denied their country entry visas to a number of senior officers.”

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He said the senior military officers involved were those in charge of operations in the north-east.

“There were cases of officers whose names did not appear in the allegation but were also denied visas,” he was quoted to have said.

He said that although the panel exonerated the army of any alleged sexual abuse of IDPs in the north-east, it faulted the trial of Boko Haram detainees.

“The board found out that the process determining the legal status of the detainees in all military detention facilities appear to have been left to the Nigerian army alone,” Angbazo reportedly said.

“We note in particular the difficulty encountered by the Nigerian Army in transferring detainees in Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri detention facility to the Maiduguri maximum prisons to ease congestion in the facility.

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“The board found that a common feature in all the detention facilities visited was the delay in the legal processing and trial of Boko Haram detainees.”