The Executive Secretary of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Prof. Bem Angwe has said its report on Apo/Gudu killings did not indict the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke (SAN) as being insinuated.
Angwe made the explanation in an April 8 letter (NHRC/ADM/030/XV) to the AGF
The letter reads: “May I humbly bring to the attention of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice that the commission delivered its decision on the above complaint on the 7th day of April, 2014 and following which I personally certified a copy of the final decision of the Commission and caused same to be forwarded to your honourable chambers.
“I wish to state here clearly that at no point was the conduct of the Attorney-General of the Federation in question or even mentioned in the proceedings before the commission and in fact, the office of the Honourable Attorney-General of the Federation acted as Judge Advocate to the commission in the proceedings.
“Consequently any publication that the commission indicted the Attorney-General of the Federation is not only untrue but also a clear departure from the decision of the commission which was pronounced publicly.”
A statement by Mr. Ambrose Momah Chief Press Secretary to the Honourable Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice urged members of the public to “disregard the media reports especially as they relate to the Attorney General of the Federation because the office of the Attorney General of the Federation appeared as a Judge Advocate for the proceedings of the NHRC and at no time was any general or specific allegations made against the person or Office Attorney General of the Federation to warrant a finding by the Commission or indictment as reported in the media.
“The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation therefore advises the general public to carefully read the Decisions and Orders of the Commission dated 7th April 2014 in respect of complaint No. C/2013/7908/HQ, which confirms that no such indictment was made against the Office. The NHRC merely ordered and directed that “The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice is to ensure that evidence of payment is lodged with the Registry of the National Human Rights Commission within thirty days of the present decision.”
Adoke’ statement said “The above quoted words cannot by any stretch of imagination be construed as an indictment on the Attorney General of the Federation as he is only expected by the NHRC to ensure that the awards made against the Government of the Federation are paid within the stipulated period.”
In the case which had the FG,DSS,Chief of Army Staff and the AGF as respondents ,the Commission however ruled that “There is no credible evidence to suggest or show that the victims in this case were members of JALISWAJ or involved in direct participation in hostilities. They were, therefore, protected, civilian non-combatants.
That “The defence of self-defence asserted by the Respondents is not supported by the facts or evidence.
“ Taking account of all the circumstances in this case, the application of lethal force was disproportionate and the killings of the eight deceased persons as well as the injuries to the eleven survivors were unlawful; and There is no basis in law for confining detainees freed by the Respondents to internal banishment.”