Document Type : Review
Lawyer, Research Volunteer at CIFILE, British Nigeria Law Forum, Nigeria
Since Nigeria’s transition back to democracy in 1999, the atrocities of the erstwhile military regimes have been left practically unaddressed. Though the Human Rights Violations Investigation Commission (‘HRVIC’ or ‘Oputa panel’) was set up in 1999 to investigate human rights violations of the erstwhile military regime, the HRVIC’s report was discarded by the federal government. Hence, unlike Argentina's lustration efforts post-military dictatorship resulted in trials and convictions, Nigeria’s lustration efforts were unfruitful. Nigeria is a party to international human rights treaties. As such, it has an obligation under international to address human rights violations, albeit inertia is the status quo. Despite Nigeria’s obligation under international law, this inertia has led the Nigerian army to proceed with its impunity unabated. Three separate events of military impunity post-1999 are examined to support the proposition that impunity leads to more atrocities, as is the case with the Nigerian army.