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Army faces panel over alleged abortion in North East

A former General Officer Commanding (GOC), 7 Division North East, Major-General Victor Ezugwu, has described as false and strange the allegations of systemic abortion by the Nigerian Military in the north-eastern part of Nigeria.

Major General Ezugwu stated this in Abuja when he appeared before the Special Independent Investigative Panel on Human Rights Violations in Counter Insurgency Operation in the Northeast.

The former GOC 7 Division explained to the panel that Nigeria Army was trained to protect the lives of the citizens and to safeguard the nation’s territories against external attacks and would never engage in illegal abortion.

He told the panel that as a former GOC in the trouble zone area, they ensured proper care of women and children rescued from the hands of the insurgents before handing them over to those in charge of the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Major-General Ezugwu, also presented pictorial documents of the activities of the Nigeria Army during his watch as the GOC of the 7 Division.

The Nigeria Army in December 2022 accused a foreign news agency, Reuters of blackmail through ‘mercenary journalism’.

In its reports, Reuters alleged that many children were shot, poisoned, suffocated or run down by vehicles in army-led actions.

The news agency also alleged that since 2013, Nigeria’s military had run a secret, systematic and illegal abortion programme in the North East, terminating at least 12,000 pregnancies among women and girls.

The Nigeria Army has since denied these allegations.

Reporting by Tanimu Salihu; Editing by Muzha Kucha and Annabel Nwachukwu