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IDPs Camps: FG Committee Says No Rape Case Established Yet

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SAN FRANCISCO, February 19, (THEWILL) – Contrary to the allegation of human trafficking and rape at the camps for the internally displaced persons (IDPs), the fact-finding committee set up by the Federal Government to look into the allegation said on Thursday that there was nothing like that yet.

Disclosing the result of the committee's findings at a meeting with the stakeholders of IDPs camp in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, the chairperson of the committee, Mrs. Bilikis Mohammed Abdullahi, said in the two camps visited so far, no conclusive evidence was found to substantiate the allegations.

Membership of the committee was drawn from the Nigerian Police, Nigerian Red Cross, the media, Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Justice and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), among others.

Abdullahi, a deputy director in the Directorate of State Security Service (SSS), said investigation into the allegation should not be seen as an indictment on the Borno State Government, stressing that it was rather an indictment on all the stakeholders in the management of the camps, including the police, DSS, NEMA which are all agencies of the Federal Government.

Disclosing that the committee had visited only two camps in Maiduguri, she said all other camps would be visited, adding that investigations so far had revealed that two girls might have been raped.

However, she said it was still an allegation until it has been proven the incident actually happened, stressing that medical experts were doing their work to ascertain the veracity of the incidents.

Also speaking at the occasion, the chairman of the State Emergency Management Agency, Alhaji Grema Terab, said “as the custodian of the camps, we will never know of a case of race and will not go all out to prosecute it.”

According to him, “It was a surprise to me to hear that there were rape cases in our camps. We will do our investigations and take appropriate actions.

“It is difficult for cases of rape in the camps for all live in dormitory and there is no secluded place even as the camps are well manned by security personnel.”

He advised that the case should be properly investigated, saying it would be wrong for the media to publish the story of the alleged rape cases without verifying them as it could lead to panic among the IDPs.