October 11, 2012

IV. Security Forces Abuses

Nigeria’s government has responded with a heavy hand to the Boko Haram violence. Government security forces, comprising military, police, and intelligence personnel, known as the Joint Military Task Force (JTF), have been implicated in serious human rights violations. The authorities have also brushed aside due process rights of detainees in the name of ending the group’s threat to Nigeria’s citizens.

During raids in communities, often in the aftermath of Boko Haram attacks, members of the security forces have executed men in front of their families; arbitrarily arrested or beaten members of the community; burned houses, shops, and cars; stolen money while searching homes; and, in at least one case documented by Human Rights Watch, raped a woman. Government security agencies routinely hold suspects incommunicado without charge or trial in secret detention facilities and have subjected detainees to torture or other physical abuse.

In July 2009, at the outset of the violence, the police and soldiers in Maiduguri carried out scores of extrajudicial killings of detainees—many of them committed execution-style—according to witnesses interviewed by Human Rights Watch. Since then security personnel have detained suspects at several military and police facilities in Maiduguri, including in an underground detention center at Giwa military barracks, witnesses told Human Rights Watch. Soldiers have been implicated in detention-related abuses, including extrajudicial killings and torture. Members of security forces who have carried out alleged abuses have done so with near-total impunity.

The government has deployed security personnel across northern and central Nigeria in an effort to protect vulnerable minority groups and other potential targets of violence. In Maiduguri, for example, Human Rights Watch observed, in May 2012, military and police personnel behind sandbagged barricades guarding the city’s prominent churches. Although security personnel often become targets themselves, these extra measures have provided protection that is critical for vulnerable groups in this region. Nevertheless, the conduct of the security forces has also undermined the effectiveness of the enhanced security procedures.

In places like Maiduguri, “[t]he security agents increasingly see members of society as siding with the group,” observed a journalist from the city who has reported on the violence.[183]During raids into communities soldiers have set fire to houses, shops, and cars, randomly arrested men from the neighborhood, and in some cases executed them in front of their shops or houses.[184] These raids have become so common in Maiduguri, especially after Boko Haram attacks on the JTF, that parents have advised their sons to flee as soon as they hear of an attack. As one young man in Maiduguri recalled, “My father told us anytime soldiers are shot, the JTF will come and attack the community and kill the youth, so we should run away and save our lives.”[185]

According to civil society leaders, JTF abuses have created growing resentment in communities, making community members more reluctant to provide information that could help curtail Boko Haram.[186] As one prominent civil society activist in the north said: “The abuses by the JTF have created more distance between the people and the government. Ordinary people are alienated by the activities of the JTF, so they don’t want to cooperate.”[187]

A lawyer representing the family of a young man killed by soldiers in Kano also said that these tactics have been counterproductive. “If you want to stop an insurgency, you have to be friendly to the host community,” he said.[188]

Residents might also shun the police and military because of the prevalence of corruption within the security agencies, which has eroded social interaction with communities and undermined efforts to tackle Boko Haram. In November 2011, for example, Human Rights Watch witnessed soldiers in northern Kaduna State block off the main highway leading from Kano to Abuja, backing up traffic on two south-bound lanes for over a kilometer. The soldiers were not checking vehicles for guns or explosives but brazenly demanding money from motorists.[189]

Nigeria has ratified a number of international treaties, including the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, that prohibit the arbitrary deprivation of the right to life, torture, and arbitrary arrest and detention. [190] The UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, ratified by Nigeria, requires Nigeria to investigate and prosecute those who commit torture and compensate victims who suffer it. [191]

The Nigerian constitution guarantees that every person has the “right to life” and “personal liberty” and shall not be arbitrarily deprived of these rights.[192] The constitution also provides that every individual is entitled to “respect for the dignity of his person,” including the right not to be subjected to torture.[193]

Various international instruments provide further guidance on the protection and respect of human rights of criminal defendants and persons deprived of their liberty, including the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which outlines the minimum standards for the registration of detainees, detention conditions, visitation rights, and external inspection of detention facilities.[194]

Extrajudicial Killings by the Police

The Nigeria Police Force has a long record of human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings of criminal suspects in custody.[195] In Maiduguri, in July 2009, the police lost about 30 of their colleagues in the violence. They responded to the attacks by executing Boko Haram suspects in their custody. Most of the killings were carried out by members of the Police Mobile Force and appeared to have taken place in the presence of senior police officials. The police made little effort to hide their crimes: the killings were done in full view of the public and some were recorded on video.

Police officers execute seven unarmed men, including three victims on crutches, in July 2009 outside the front gate of the police headquarters in Maiduguri. Stills from video footage courtesy of Al Jazeera.[196]

Twenty-Four Extrajudicial Killings at Police HQ, Maiduguri, July 2009

According to witnesses, many of the public executions in July 2009 by the police occurred at their headquarters in Maiduguri. Human Rights Watch documented 28 alleged extrajudicial killings committed by the police between July 28 and August 1, 2009, in Maiduguri. Twenty-four of them took place outside the front gate or inside the compound of the police headquarters. (For information on the killing of Boko Haram leader Mohammed Yusuf, see section above, Mohammed Yusuf’s Execution.)

A 24-year-old woman recounted seeing mobile police officers execute 16 detainees at police headquarters on July 28 and 29. On the first day’s shootings she stood at the fence of the headquarters, along with others, and saw a Police Mobile Force (MOPOL) officer order the execution of 10 men:

There was a big [heavyset] MOPOL [officer] there. I don’t know his rank. He was saying in Hausa, “Shoot them all. What are you waiting for?” Three MOPOLs did the shooting. Some of those killed wore kaftans with camouflage. They yelled “Allahu Akbar,” and the police would know they were Boko Haram and shoot them. Others denied they were Boko Haram members. One of them was crying.... But the police pushed them aside and shot them.

The following afternoon, July 29, the woman said she returned to the police headquarters and witnessed the police executing six more people, including three men on crutches: “After watching this, I felt bad—I even cried,” she said. “The police are not right because they are even killing innocent people.”[197]

As the bodies piled up outside the headquarters the police made no attempt to hide their actions, witnesses said. Members of the public and even the police themselves video recorded executions with their mobile telephones. On February 9, 2010, Al Jazeera television aired video footage of police officers killing seven men outside the front gate of the headquarters.[198]

Execution of Buji Foi, Maiduguri, July 2009

On the morning of July 31, 2009—the day after the police killed Mohammed Yusuf—the military apprehended one of Boko Haram’s alleged financial backers, Buji Foi, a former commissioner in the Borno State government, at his farm outside Maiduguri.[199] A journalist told Human Rights Watch that he saw the commander of the military task force in Maiduguri, Col. Ben Ahanotu, arrive at police headquarters that morning with Foi in the back of a white Toyota Hilux pickup truck. After dropping Foi off, Ahanotu drove away, leaving the captive standing in the compound, his hands tied behind his back, with Borno State Police Commissioner Christopher Dega and a group of mobile police officers. The journalist said Dega ordered Foi to be taken inside, but some of the mobile police officers refused and instead shot him:

The police commissioner said they should take him to CID [Criminal Investigation Department]. He then went back to his office. Some of the junior officers shouted, “Let us kill him!” They said, “We will not allow him to go.”… I saw the commissioner of police come [back] down from the upstairs office.

Some of the mobile police started pushing the man [Foi] toward the [front] gate…. Some of them wanted to put him into a Hilux [pickup truck] that was outside, but those in the Hilux pushed him down. He was on the ground and the mobile police were all around him. I then heard gunshots—rapid fire—and shouting. I saw him lying there with a bullet wound on his neck. He died on the spot. [They left his body] there almost three hours, right outside the gate.[200]

Execution of Baba Fugu Mohammed, Maiduguri, July 2009

Baba Fugu Mohammed, the 72-year-old father-in-law of Boko Haram’s leader Mohammed Yusuf, turned himself in to the police on the morning of July 31, 2009, on his lawyer’s advice, after he heard the police wanted to speak with him.[201] A week before the violence exploded in July 2009, Baba Fugu Mohammed’s son, on his father’s behalf, had sent a letter to the Borno State governor warning that Yusuf was preparing to launch a retaliatory “offensive attack” on police and government targets.[202] Human Rights Watch interviewed a former employee of Baba Fugu Mohammed who was stopped at a security checkpoint in front of police headquarters the morning of July 31. As the police searched his vehicle, he said he witnessed a mobile police officer shoot Baba Fugu Mohammed and three other men at close range by the front gate:

I saw the police taking Baba Fugu out of the police headquarters with three others. He was wearing a black kaftan. I didn’t recognize the others. One was wearing a white jalabiya [robe]. The other two had on brown kaftans. They were with many mobile police—black and green uniforms. The police told the three to lie down. They lay down in the flower bed just in front of the ATM machine. One mobile police then shot them. The gunshots were too many so everybody was afraid. I got in my car and left.[203]

Extrajudicial Killings by the Military

Nigeria’s military has been implicated in numerous abuses during its operations in response to the Boko Haram violence in northern Nigeria, including extrajudicial killings of men during neighborhood raids and of detainees in military custody. The following section details 27 cases of extrajudicial killings carried out by soldiers. Most of the extrajudicial killings documented by Human Rights Watch occurred in Maiduguri between July 2009 and May 2012, while three took place in the city of Kano in March 2012.

Eight Extrajudicial Killings, Maiduguri, July 2009

Human Rights Watch interviewed witnesses to three separate incidents of extrajudicial killings by soldiers in Maiduguri on July 28, 2009.

In one case, a young man told Human Rights Watch that when soldiers came to his community a suspected Boko Haram member holding a cutlass climbed a tree in front of his house. The witness said, “One of the soldiers shot the man in the tree and he fell…. The soldiers asked him, ‘Where are the other members?’ He said, ‘In the mosque.’ The soldiers then shot him twice…. He was dead.”[204]

In a second instance of extrajudicial killings that day, a journalist told Human Rights Watch that he saw soldiers shoot three men in their custody at close range just outside police headquarters.[205]

And in yet a third case, Human Rights Watch interviewed three witnesses who saw soldiers shoot five men on the Customs Bridge in Maiduguri. One of the victims survived. He told Human Rights Watch that on the afternoon of July 28 soldiers entered a mosque where he was praying with four other men. The soldiers removed their robes, beat them, and marched them to their commander at the bridge. He described what happened next:

The soldiers told us to lie down. Four of the soldiers opened fire on us. The commander was watching. I was lying on my side. They saw that some of us were moving and shot us again. I then lost consciousness.

I regained consciousness in the night and dragged myself to an area in the dirt near Dandal Community Bank. I spent the night under a bus. In the morning an achaba [commercial motorcycle taxi] man who knew me took me to my house. My family called a doctor…. They removed four bullets from my body.[206]

A former Boko Haram member who witnessed the shootings at the Customs Bridge insisted to Human Rights Watch that the five men were not Boko Haram members. According to him, “The old man was holding prayer beads, and Boko Haram members don’t do that. The two youth wore T-shirts and the [other] two men wore long pants, not the short pants of Boko Haram.”[207] The soldiers left the corpses on the bridge for three days.[208]

Twelve Extrajudicial Killings, Maiduguri, July 2011

On the night of July 9, 2011, following a suspected Boko Haram attack on a military vehicle in Maiduguri, soldiers raided the Kaleri neighborhood. Community members provided Human Rights Watch with a list of 18 names of men allegedly killed during the raid. One of the surviving residents, who hid under an outdoor table, said he saw soldiers execute 12 men in front of his neighbor’s house:

I came out from the mosque around 8 p.m. and heard a bomb explosion. After the explosion the JTF arrived in six pickups. They told the people to come out of their houses. They asked the women and children to lie down on the ground….

I saw the JTF going into my neighbor’s house. His name was Mohammed. I heard the soldiers shout, “Where is your husband?” They were speaking broken English. The wife said, “Mohammed is not in.” They said, “If you don’t show him, we will shoot you dead.” Mohammed then came out. The soldiers separated the two of them. The soldiers then shot Mohammed. They shot him twice at close range. Three soldiers then poured petrol inside the house and set the house on fire. Mohammed’s wife fell on him and held him. The soldiers threw the wife aside and carried his corpse away.

After that I saw them [the soldiers] bring out about 11 men from various houses. I knew the men. They lined them up in front of Mohammed’s house. One of their leaders ordered them to shoot them. He said “Fire!” He was speaking in English. The other soldiers then shot the men.[209]

Three Extrajudicial Killings, Maiduguri, January 2012

On January 26, 2012, soldiers raided the Gidan-Yashi neighborhood of Maiduguri and executed on the spot three brothers—Dala, Mallam Tijjani, and Mallam Mohammed Mustapher—one of their relatives who witnessed the killings told Human Rights Watch. The witness said the troops told the men, all in their twenties, to lie down outside a residential compound and ordered the women to go inside the house:

One of the soldiers asked the other soldiers to stand clear. When they stood clear the soldier shot the three men. The soldiers then threw the corpses into a van and left.

We got information from someone at the Maiduguri University Teaching Hospital that the corpses were there, so we went and identified the bodies. They [the soldiers] tried to force us to sign that they were Boko Haram members, but we refused to sign…. We then went to a lawyer. He went and they released the bodies to him.”[210]

One Extrajudicial Killing, Maiduguri, May 2012

In Maiduguri, a resident of the Lawan Bukar Junction neighborhood told Human Rights Watch that on May 22, 2012 soldiers raided the neighborhood and killed an unarmed man who was hiding in a tailor’s shop, before burning the property. He said:

They came with jerry cans and threw gasoline on the stores. In mine, they tried to light the shop with matches, but the flames didn’t spread…. But then they went to other stores and burned them. One shop sold generators, another grinding machines, one even kola nuts. I think 13 in all [were burned]. They also burned some cars.

At one, a tailor shop, a man named Ibrahim, who is the son of the owner, was caught inside. When he tried to get out, they shot him and he fell back into the shop. They threw gasoline in and set it on fire…. The next day, we went in and found Ibrahim’s body. He was so badly burned that when we began to drag it [out], a leg came off.[211]

The Killing of Ali Sadiq and Two Others, Kano, March 2012

Rebeeba Musa holds a photograph of her deceased husband, Ali Sadiq, who was killed by soldiers in the city of Kano on March 9, 2012. © 2012 Eric Guttschuss/ Human Rights Watch">

On March 9, 2012, soldiers in Kano gunned down Ali Sadiq, a graduate of Bayero University who got married five days before the shooting. Ali was inside a filling station where he had gone to buy fuel.

According to witnesses, suspected Boko Haram members attacked a nearby police station, prompting customers and employees at the filling station to run for cover in the building. After the attack on the police station, JTF vehicles arrived and convened at the parking lot of the filling station. One of the employees hiding inside the filling station’s service pit described what happened:

Seven of us were hiding in the pit. Four of us were staff here, the other was Ali, who had come to get fuel—I knew him from before—Ahmed, who sells fuels along the road, and a third man [name withheld]. Ali phoned his wife that his life was in danger and she should pray for him. After 45 minutes the soldiers and police came.

Two soldiers came into the service bay. They were wearing camouflage uniforms. They didn’t say anything. They just started shooting into the pit. They shot Ali and he fell down on top of me. They shot the second—Ahmed—and third one [name withheld]. I then started shouting saying: “We are staff, we are staff. We are staff!” The soldiers said, “If you are staff, you should come out.” So we came out.

My clothes were all covered in Ali’s blood. They made us lie down outside. The soldiers and the police then went inside to my boss’s office. They shot inside and took my boss out. They had removed his clothes and made him lie down with us….

Later I took Ahmed and [the third man] in a tri-wheel vehicle to the hospital…. They attended to them and I left. On my way back home I was told that Ahmed had died. He was shot in the leg and lost a lot of blood. [212]

Another man was also shot and killed next to the filling station’s generator. [213]

Nigeria’s Armed Forces Act, which establishes rules for military conduct, prohibits mistreatment of detainees, assault, murder, manslaughter, robbery, and arson. Military officials interviewed by Human Rights Watch insisted that their personnel have not been involved in abuses against civilians.[214] According to a senior military official, in a statement sent to Human Rights Watch, dated July 24, 2012:

[O]ur personnel do not engage in unmindful violence as they would rather allow terrorists escape when in pursuit than to carryout acts that are likely to endanger innocent lives. In other words, deployed personnel of the military have neither been involved in deliberate killing of the innocents nor in torture. Alleged terrorists who are arrested, are duly processed and handed over to the police or other relevant prosecutorial agencies for prosecution in civil courts.[215]

Other Abuses during Raids and at Checkpoints

JTF raids on neighborhoods feature a range of alleged security force abuses, such as burning houses, shops and cars; beating residents, stealing money; and, in at least one case documented by Human Rights Watch, rape.

Human Rights Watch interviewed a witness who described seeing two soldiers beat and rape a woman, who was his neighbor, during a night raid in the Kaleri neighborhood of Maiduguri on July 9, 2011. He said the alleged rape occurred after soldiers had burned homes and vehicles and shot and killed men in the neighborhood, including the woman’s husband:

I saw two soldiers beat a woman in her compound. They then raped her—one after the other. It was very close to where I was hiding…. She lay there until the morning when people came to carry her to hospital. They have since taken the woman to the village for treatment. Because of shame she can’t come back.[216]

Human Rights Watch interviewed eight people in the Dorayi neighborhood in the city of Kano who described a May 13, 2012 pre-dawn raid in which soldiers went house to house, broke down doors, ransacked homes, and in some cases stole money. The soldiers searched residents’ mobile phones and beat those who did not own one. One of the residents recalled:

The soldiers asked us to come out of the house. They asked me for my handset but I didn’t have one. They beat me with their guns on my back and hit me with a hammer on my hand. The soldiers went into the house. They brought everything out of the house. I had put money in a drawer. When I went back into the house the money was missing—27,000 naira (roughly $170)…. I went to the police and gave a statement to the police. I signed the statement.[217]

The JTF spokesperson in Kano, however, dismissed allegations of abuses during the raid in Dorayi as “completely false, baseless and a fabrication aimed [at] tarnishing the image of the JTF.”[218]

In both Kano and Maiduguri, the JTF has set up numerous checkpoints to aid the search for arms, explosives, and Boko Haram suspects. But residents allege that the security personnel also harass, extort money from, and abuse residents at checkpoints. Human Rights Watch interviewed 10 motorcyclists in Kano who all reported different levels of abuses, including beatings. Some said that the police or soldiers asked for bribes before letting them pass. One, a mechanic, described an incident that occurred earlier that day—May 25, 2012:

As we were pushing the bike through a checkpoint, soldiers made us stop. We had to “frog-jump” [leap forward while holding one’s ankles] 20 times, and then they beat us with cables. I cried for help, but no one would come. It took an hour. Then a man in an SUV stopped and pleaded with the soldiers to let us go. They let us go.[219]
A second motorcyclist recalled that a soldier stopped him at a checkpoint on May 18, 2012, before beating him and demanding a bribe:
He started beating me with a rubber cable. I had to stay on the ground for an hour and a half. Finally an officer came and said, “Let him go.” Still, I had to pay 200 naira ($1.25) to the first soldier.[220]

Detention-Related Abuses

Many alleged Boko Haram suspects have been held for months and even years without charge or trial. They have often been denied the right to communicate with their family and lawyers and most have had no charges publicly brought against them, according to witnesses, lawyers, and civil society activists interviewed by Human Rights Watch.[221] The authorities’ failure to respect these due process rights has left detainees particularly vulnerable to abuses in police or military custody. Human Rights Watch collected evidence of deaths and physical abuse of detainees in detention. While the sample of witnesses is too small to present a complete picture, it raises serious concern and requires a full investigation.

Incommunicado Detentions and Lack of Due Process

Human Rights Watch interviewed relatives of nine men taken away by the JTF in Maiduguri since January 2012. All said they had not received official word about the whereabouts and condition of their relatives, or what charges were being brought against them. The authorities in Maiduguri have permitted some lawyers irregular visits to the detainees, but at this writing access to lawyers had been arbitrarily truncated by the military personnel.[222]

Torture and Inhumane Conditions

Human Rights Watch interviewed several lawyers, two former detainees, and relatives of detainees in Maiduguri who said that Boko Haram suspects were detained at several detention facilities in Maiduguri, often incommunicado in inhumane conditions, including at an underground detention facility at the Giwa military barracks.[223]

Human Rights Watch interviewed two former detainees at the Giwa barracks. They described being detained in an underground detention facility in unsanitary conditions, without adequate food, for six weeks and four months, respectively. The men said that during their time there they were handcuffed to a ring on the floor that prevented them from standing up or moving around and were only released twice a day to eat and use the toilet. They were not allowed outside and were denied access to a lawyer, family members, or other visitors. “There were nine cells in the underground area. There were about eight inmates in each cell…. There was no light,” one said.[224]

One of the former detainees also witnessed several incidents of torture at Giwa Barracks. For example, he said that while he was being interrogated by security agents in an office at the barracks he saw soldiers at another table torture a detainee by pulling on his genitals with a pair of pliers. He also described seeing soldiers try to “peel the skin” off a detainee with a razor and kill another detainee while he was suspended from a tree at the barracks.

His legs were suspended—bent and tied. They [the soldiers] hit him with a gun and he died. I saw him on the ground and his body was lifeless. They then threw his body into the back of a pickup [truck].[225]

Senior military officials interviewed by Human Rights Watch at Defence Headquarters in Abuja denied that suspects were detained at Giwa Barracks in Maiduguri: “Giwa Barracks is not configured as a detention center. It is a regular residential barracks,” one official insisted.[226] Similarly, the director of information at Defence Headquarters denied the existence of the detention facility: “There is no underground facility at Giwa Barracks. Giwa Barracks is a regular barracks,” he said. “There is no Guantanamo Bay.”[227]

Deaths in Military Custody

The allegation of torture noted above was not the only case of alleged death in detention at Giwa Barracks. Human Rights Watch interviewed three relatives of a man who allegedly died in detention at the barracks.[228] They said that Kaka Alhaji Ali, 25, a used television salesperson, was arrested on March 14, 2012 as he was walked along the city’s Awasulum Road. When he tried to pass between two JTF vehicles, soldiers called him over, beat him with rifle butts, and kicked him, a relative who witnessed the beating said.

One of the relatives said he saw the soldiers place Ali into a pickup truck, and he followed the truck to Giwa Barracks. On March 23 the relatives saw Ali from a distance at the barracks, alive with his hands tied to a pillar. The next day, around 8 a.m., one of the relatives returned with a lawyer and asked about Ali. A soldier told them that Ali had left:

I took that to mean they had killed him. I went to the [University of Maiduguri] Teaching Hospital around 1 p.m. and found his corpse. There was a report that he was shot in an exchange of fire along the Maiduguri-Damaturu Road, which I knew was a lie. The lawyer and I asked for the corpse, which they surrendered to us.[229]

Human Rights Watch also received reports of security agents ferrying detainees to the outskirts of Maiduguri and executing them. A resident of a settlement about four kilometers from Maiduguri said that since the beginning of 2012 JTF patrols have pulled up in convoy in the bush near the village on several occasions and gunshots have sounded. In the morning, residents have discovered dead bodies. The man said:

Sometimes we see them [the JTF]. They come by convoy to the bush and kill prisoners and leave their corpses. It happens at night. I have heard the shots several times, and in the morning the bodies are there.

After several such occurrences, the village ward head contacted the district head, who went to the local government chairman, who asked the police to take away the corpses. The resident said:

The police forced us to bury the corpses. We buried them in our cemetery. I don’t know the names of the dead. This has happened several times in the past five months. We have buried about 20 people ourselves.[230]

[183] Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Salkida, Abuja, May 29, 2012.

[184] Human Rights Watch interviews with residents, Maiduguri, May 2012.

[185] Human Rights Watch interview with a young man [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[186] Human Rights Watch interview with Ahmad Salkida, Abuja, May 29, 2012.

[187] Human Rights Watch interview with Shehu Sani, president of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria, Abuja, May 30, 2012.

[188] Human Rights Watch interview with a lawyer [named withheld], Kano, May 22, 2012.

[189] Human Rights Watch site visit to Zaria, Kaduna State, November 20, 2011.

[190] International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, adopted on December 16, 1966, G.A. Res. 2200A (XXI), 21 U.N. GAOR Supp. (No. 16) at 52, U.N. Doc. A/6316 (1966), 999 U.N.T.S. 171, entered into force on March 23, 1976, acceded to by Nigeria on July 29, 1993. African [Banjul] Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, adopted on June 27, 1981, OAU Doc. CAB/LEG/67/3 rev. 5, 21 I.L.M. 58 (1982), entered into force on October 21, 1986, acceded by Nigeria on June 22, 1983.

[191] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, adopted December 10, 1984, G.A. res. 39/46, annex, 39 UN GAOR Supp. (No. 51) at 197, UN Doc. A/39/51 (1984), entered into force on June 26, 1987, ratified by Nigeria on June 28, 2001.

[192] Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, secs. 33 and 35.

[193] Ibid., sec. 34(1)(a).

[194] United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolution 663 C (XXIV) of July 31, 1957, and 2076 (LXII) of May 13, 1977.

[195] See, for example, Amnesty International, Killing at Will: Extrajudicial Executions and other Unlawful Killings by the Police in Nigeria, AFR 44/038/2009, December 2009, http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/info/AFR44/038/2009 (accessed August 22, 2012); Network on Police Reform in Nigeria and Open Society Justice Initiative, Criminal Force: Torture, Abuse, and Extrajudicial Killings by the Nigeria Police Force, May 2010, http://www.soros.org/reports/criminal-force-torture-abuse-and-extrajudicial-killings-nigeria-police-force (accessed August 22, 2012); Human Rights Watch, “Rest in Pieces”: Police Torture and Deaths in Custody in Nigeria, vol. 17, no. 11(A), July 2005, http://www.hrw.org/node/11631, pp. 37-38.

[196] See “Video shows Nigeria ‘executions,’” Al Jazeera, February 9, 2010, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2010/02/2010298114949112.html (August 26, 2012).

[197] Human Rights Watch interview with a 24-year-old woman [name withheld], Maiduguri, July 8, 2010.

[198] To view the video of the police executions, see “Video shows Nigeria ‘executions,’” Al Jazeera, February 9, 2010, http://www.aljazeera.com/news/africa/2010/02/2010298114949112.html (August 26, 2012).

[199] Buji Foi was a former commissioner for religious affairs in the Borno State government. See Mohammed S. Shehu, “Boko Haram – My Hands Are Clean, Says Sheriff,” Daily Trust (Abuja), July 15, 2011, http://www.dailytrust.com.ng/index.php/other-sections/inside-politics/23150-boko-haram-my-hands-are-clean-says-sheriff (accessed September 25, 2012).

[200] Human Rights Watch interview with a journalist [name withheld], Maiduguri, July 8, 2010.

[201] Human Rights Watch interview with Anayo Adibe, Baba Fugu Mohammed’s lawyer, Maiduguri, July 7, 2010.

[202] Human Rights Watch interview with Baba Kuru Fugu, Maiduguri, July 6, 2010. Letter from Baba Kuru Fugu to the Borno State governor, dated July 15, 2009, with signed receipt from the office to the secretary to the Government of Borno State on July 20, 2009 (on file with Human Rights Watch).

[203] Human Rights Watch interview with a former employee of Baba Fugu Mohammed [name withheld], Maiduguri, July 8, 2010.

[204] Human Rights Watch interview with a young man [name withheld], Maiduguri, July 9, 2010.

[205] Human Rights Watch telephone interview with a journalist [name withheld], Maiduguri, July 31, 2009.

[206] Human Rights Watch interview with a victim of attempted execution [name withheld], Maiduguri, July 11, 2010.

[207] Human Rights Watch interview with a former Boko Haram member, Maiduguri, July 8, 2010.

[208] Human Rights Watch interview with a resident [name withheld], Maiduguri July 8, 2010.

[209] Human Rights Watch interview with a Kaleri resident [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[210] Human Rights Watch interview with a Gidan-Yashi resident [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[211] Human Rights Watch interview with a shop owner [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 26, 2012.

[212] Human Rights Watch interview with a filling station employee [name withheld], Kano, May 23, 2012.

[213] Human Rights Watch interview with a man inside the filling station during the shooting [name withheld], Kano, May 23, 2012.

[214] Human Rights Watch interview with military officials, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, July 5, 2012.

[215] Letter from Air Vice Marshal T. Dick-Iruenabere, on behalf of the chief of defence staff, dated July 24, 2012, emailed to Human Rights Watch on July 24, 2012.

[216] Human Rights Watch interview with a Kaleri resident [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[217] Human Rights Watch interview with a Dorayi resident [name withheld], Kano, May 22, 2012.

[218] Nazifi Dawud Khalid, “‘How soldiers brutalised Kano people’ – It’s completely false —JTF,” Daily Trust (Abuja), May 15, 2012, http://dailytrust.com.ng/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=162451:how-soldiers-brutalised-kano-people-its-completely-false-jtf&catid=2:lead-stories&Itemid=8 (accessed September 25, 2012).

[219] Human Rights Watch interview with a mechanic [name withheld], Kano, May 25, 2012.

[220] Human Rights Watch interview with a motorcyclist [name withheld], Kano, May 25, 2012.

[221] Lengthy pre-trial detention remains a serious problem in Nigeria’s criminal justice system. As of the end of 2011, approximately 70 percent of the 48,000 detainees in Nigeria’s prisons had not been tried—many of them had been held for years without trial. See US State Department, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011, Nigeria,” http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm?dlid=186229 (accessed September 23, 2012).

[222] Human Rights Watch interviews with lawyers in Maiduguri, May 2012.

[223] Human Rights Watch interviews in Maiduguri, May 2012.

[224] Human Rights Watch interview with a former detainee [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[225] Human Rights Watch interview with a former detainee [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[226] Human Rights Watch interview with Air Vice Marshal T. Dick Iruenabere, chief of policy and plans, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, July 5, 2012.

[227] Human Rights Watch interview with Col. M.M. Yerima, director of defence information, Defence Headquarters, Abuja, July 5, 2012.

[228] Human Rights Watch interviews with relatives of Kaka Alhaji Ali [names withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.

[229] Human Rights Watch interview with a relative of Kaka Alhaji Ali [name withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.Photos of Kaka Alhaji Ali’s corpse on file with Human Rights Watch.

[230] Human Rights Watch interview with a resident [name of witness and community withheld], Maiduguri, May 28, 2012.