A Federal High Court in Abuja will on 2 December, hear a case of alleged war crimes filed by some civil society groups against President Goodluck Jonathan, the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister for Justice and the military Joint Task Force. The suit by Access to Justice has as plaintiffs One Voice Coalition for Sustainable Development in Nigeria, OneVOICE; Women Advocates Research and Documentation Centre, WARDC; Human Rights Law Services, HURILAWS; Social Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP; Network on Police Reform in Nigeria Foundation, NOPRIN and Nigerian Automobile Technicians Association, NATA. Others are the Centre for Constitutional Governance, CCG, and Centre for Constitutionalism and Demilitarization, CENCOD.
The group is seeking an order of mandamus compelling the respondents (President Goodluck Jonathan and others) to investigate the video footage released by the Amnesty International, AI, showing gross human right abuses and war crimes by the Nigerian military on counter-insurgency operations in the northeast.
On 5 August, AI released the video cataloguing extrajudicial killings and torture of suspected members of the Boko Haram sect by the Nigerian military and the Civilian Joint Task Force, CJTF. One of the scenes was said to have been recorded in Maiduguri, Borno State in March 2013.
The video is reported to have scenes showing some suspected Boko Haram sect having their throats slit, amid other forms of torture and killing, before being buried in a shallow grave.
The allegation of gross human rights abuses against the Nigerian military in the northeast has tainted their counter-insurgency operations. The United States has consistently decline Nigerian government’s request to acquire sophisticated military hardware to be deployed against the insurgents, even though the military continues to deny the allegations.