Abuja, Nigeria (PANA) - The Nigerian military on Thursday dismissed an Amnesty International (AI) report which has accused it of human rights abuses describing it as "cooked and biased".
The report has accused the military of enforced disappearance, torture, extrajudicial executions, torching of homes and detention without trial.
But the Director of Defence Information, Colonel Muhammed Yerima, said: “There is no truth whatsoever in what Amnesty International said with regard to the role security forces have been playing in the fight against the Boko Haram group."
He said the report was "biased and unsubstantiated".
"You cannot have a report like this without interviewing Boko Haram or the security forces and you just pick your stories on the streets and come up with a cooked story and say that the Nigerian security forces have violated the human rights of Boko Haram members or that the security forces are involved in human rights abuses.”
Col. Yerima also denied that the military is carrying out detention without trial saying when the military arrests suspects, either during stop and search operation or during encounters with armed groups, they are first interviewed on whether they are members of Boko Haram or not.
He said members of the security forces, like the State Security Services and the police, join the military for a combined interrogation.
"After sifting the information, if the person is involved in any criminal activity, we will hand him over to the police for prosecution. If he is not, we release him. We don’t keep people unnecessarily or longer than necessary."
Col. Yerima dismissed the accusation of extra-judicial killings, saying being caught in a crossfire is not extra-judicial killing.
On accusations that the operation of the security forces have been inflicting hardship on the local population, the Defence spokesman said the military was aware of the hardships they had been going through.
Col. Yerima said the military had been telling the people that the hardship they were going through was as a result of the crisis.
"It is true that when you come to our check points, we will slow you down. We have to check you. We have to find out whether you have explosives or arms with you or not. And we have been getting people with arms and explosives in these check points," he said.
"People have to give us a fair hearing and understand also that we have to check them. We can’t just allow everybody to just pass like that in an operational area," he added.
-0- PANA MON/MA 1Nov2012