Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, said, yesterday, that following the investigation ordered by President Muhammadu Buhari into alleged human rights abuses against internally displaced persons, IDPs, in the North-East, two Army officers and an Air Force officer have been indicted.
Also, Idris said two police officers, one prisons officer and two Civilian JTF members have been arrested and are in police custody. He noted that operatives of the IGP Monitoring Unit were currently liaising with officials of the military services with a view to arresting the Army and Air Force officers, noting that after investigations, they will be charged to court.
He said it was in a bid to prevent the re-occurrence of such acts that the Police Headquarters recently deployed women police officers to the IDP camps in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe states.
Idris spoke at an enlarged meeting he held with DIGs, AIGs and Commissioners of Police in Abuja on the security situation in the country.
Rights Watch report
The Human Rights Watch, in October, had released a report claiming that camp leaders, police officers, soldiers, vigilante groups and other authorities working at IDPs camps in the North, have been raping and sexually exploiting some of the female IDPs.
The report noted that women and girls abused by members of the security forces and vigilante groups working with government forces in their fight against Boko Haram, said they felt powerless and feared retaliation if they reported the abuse.
The report read in part: “A 17-year-old girl said that just over a year after she fled the frequent Boko Haram attacks in Dikwa, a town 56 miles west of Maiduguri, a policeman approached her for ‘friendship’ in the camp, and then raped her.”
According to the report, the girl said: “One day he demanded for sex. I refused, but he forced me. It happened just that one time, but I soon realised I was pregnant. When I informed him about my condition, he threatened to shoot me dead if I told anyone else. So I was too afraid to report him.”
The report continued: “Irregular supplies of food, clothing, medicine, and other essentials, along with restricted movement in the IDP camps in Maiduguri, compound the vulnerability of victims.
“Another victim, a 16-year-old girl, who fled a brutal Boko Haram attack on Baga, near the shores of Lake Chad, northern Borno, in January 2015, said she was drugged and raped in May 2015 by a vigilante group member in charge of distributing aid in the camp.”
‘He drugged me’
According to the report, the girl said: “He knew my parents were dead, because he is also from Baga. He would bring me rice and spaghetti, so I believed he really wanted to marry me. But he was also asking me for sex.
“I always told him I was too small. The day he raped me, he offered me a drink. As soon as I drank it, I slept off. It was in his camp room. I knew something was wrong when I woke up. I was in pains and blood was coming out of my private part. I felt weak and could not walk well.
“I did not tell anyone because I was afraid. When my menstrual period did not come, I knew I was pregnant and just wanted to die to join my dead mother. I was too ashamed to even go to the clinic for pregnancy care. I am so young.
“The man ran away from the camp when he heard I delivered a baby six months ago. I just feel sorry for the baby because I have no food or love to give him. I think he might die.”
Following the Human Rights Watch report, President Buhari instructed the Inspector General and governor of the states with IDP camps, to investigate.