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Human Rights: Army commences construction of holding facility for Boko Haram suspects 

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Detained suspects must be properly taken care of–Buratai

Jude Johnson 

The Nigerian Army has commenced the construction of holding facility to improve detainees management during investigations of suspected Boko Haram terrorists and their accomplices.

Performing the foundation laying ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt-Gen. Tukur Buratai, said the ongoing Counter Terrorism and Counter Insurgency Operations in the North East, has made it mandatory for the arrest and detention of suspected insurgents.

Buratai who was  represented by the Army Chief of Logistics, Maj-Gen. Enobong Udoh stated that the detained suspects must be properly taken care of in accordance with international best practices while in custody.

“The quest for a functional safe holding facility, with adequate sanitary conditions for the effective management of suspected Boko Haram Terrorists (BHTs) for further investigation activities, is the driving force behind the execution of this project”, he said.

The COAS stressed  that, in order to relieve the front line units of the responsibility of administering arrested suspects,  there arises the need to have a facility where suspects will be kept and properly managed, adding that this was the reason the Joint Investigation Centre was established.

He further emphasised  that, the Centre  serves as a transit holding and detention facility for suspected terrorists before they are handed over to relevant prosecuting or rehabilitating agencies.

6. Also speaking, the Head of Sub Delegation of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) Mr Markus Dolder, expressed delight over the ground breaking ceremony, describing it as indicative of the compliance by the Nigerian Army with global best practices.

Dolder stated that, the impact of the project will further strengthen the cooperation between the Army and stake holders, especially in the management of suspects undergoing investigation.

“I am very much impressed about the efforts that has been launched over the last few months, they are much more than we actually thought could come and this is more than we could potentially dream of”, he remarked.

He  urged the Nigerian Army to keep its own part of the bargain as they strive to meet international best practices for the welfare and well being of detainees.

Present at the occasion were the outgoing Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj-Gen. Abba Dikko, General Officer Commanding (GOC) 7 Division Brig-Gen. Abdulmalik Bulama Biu, Commander Joint Investigation Centre,  Brig-Gen. Ibrahim Salihu, Comptroller of Prisons Borno State Command Mr Inuwa Garba, Deputy Head of Sub Delegation,  ICRC Borno State Mr Amro Ibrahim, Representatives of the Borno state Commissioner of Police, among others.

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