By Ike A. Offor
Subsequent to its severe disapproval of the recall of Maj.Gen. Ahmadu Mohammed, ex-GOC of 7 division, Nigerian Army after he was allegedly accused of human rights violations, the Army has demanded Amnesty International to furnish evidence with records directly indicting Gen. Mohammed on human rights abuse to enable the Army act on it.
In a communique signed by the Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman said “the attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to media reports that the human right group, Amnesty International, has scowled at the reinstatement of Maj. Gen. Ahmadu Mohammed into military service, alleging that he was involved in human rights violations while he was the GOC 7 Division. The Nigerian Army wishes to thank the exalted body for this observation
“Although, it is not an aberration for the international human rights body to raise such an observation, however, it did not take into cognizance of the circumstances leading to his illegal retirement and the legal procedure that was followed in his reinstatement.
“The compulsory and premature retirement of Major General Mohammed did not follow due process and was rather arbitrary.
The senior officer was never charged, tried, let alone found guilty of any offence that justified his premature retirement.
“The action was therefore a clear violation of extant rules, regulations, as well as Terms and Conditions of Service of the Armed Forces of Nigeria. This obvious violation prompted the senior officer to seek redress using the appropriate legal means.
“Consequently, the realization of these omissions called for a review of the case by the Army Council and his subsequent reinstatement into the Service.
“Evidently, the objection to his reinstatement into the Nigerian Army was ill-informed and being respecter of law, the protector and promoter of human rights, the organization should be guided by this principle and not by sentiments or act on the basis of misinformation.
“The Nigerian Army will appreciate it more if Amnesty International provides us with records and clear evidences directly indicting Major General Mohammed in human rights abuse to enable us act on it.
“We wish to assure Amnesty International that the Nigerian Army respects human rights and further state that we are ready to partner with the organization in promoting human rights protection and development.”