The defence headquarters says it does not condone rape and neither does it have rapists among its officers.
John Agim, acting director of defence information, said this on Friday while addressing a news conference in Borno over allegations of sexual offences levelled against the military by Amnesty International (AI), a human rights group.
AI’s report had revealed alleged atrocious acts of soldiers and civilian joint task force in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the north-east.
Agim, who led a team from the defence headquarters to Maiduguri to investigate the allegations, said the group used ineffective methodologies to address the matter.
He said the claims were untrue and warned that the military would no longer tolerate such accusations.
The group, he said, has not only positioned itself as an enemy of the Nigerian army but the country as a whole.
He said: “I have interacted with the stakeholders in the camps and they said that the Nigerian armed forces have neither molested, sexually assaulted nor raped any IDP as alleged by Amnesty International’s recent concocted report.
“In the Armed Forces, we maintain that we do not condone rape and do not have rapists among us.
“You have also established that soldiers are not deployed inside the IDP camps; hence, the need to take you round the two most populous camps in Borno state which are Bakassi IDP Camp with over 35,000 displaced persons from five different local governments areas namely: Marte, Monguno, Gwoza, Gwuzamala and Nganzan, as well as Dalori IDP Camp with over 7,800 persons from Bama and Konduga local governments respectively.”
Agim said the DHQ considers rape as an outright aberration and a grievous offence that cannot go unpunished.
He questioned the motives of the human rights group for repeatedly making allegations allegedly capable of presenting the Nigerian army personnel as monsters.
“If you look at what happened this year from January to this moment. Every month, Amnesty brings out a report; before now we used to hear about their annual report,” he said.
“It is intended to ensure that foreign countries that are ready to collaborate with the military in the fight against insurgents do not do so – it is the same kind of report that made the US not to sell us weapons in 2014/2015.
“Why are they doing that, because they want the crisis not to finish? So, we also are compiling the activities of Amnesty International and by the time the military command looks at what they are doing, there may be a time that they will take action.”