The Chief of Army, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai has, on Friday, commissioned 400 capacity Joint Investigation Centre Detention Cells for boko haram suspects in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital.
The detention facility, which was built by the Nigerian Army Engineering Department under the supervision of Brig Gen J M Chima and located inside Giwa Barracks, has four detention cells with internal toilets that will be useful to the detainees even at night.
According to Brig Gen Chima, the facilities are built with heat and odour extractor, coupled with constructed borehole to enable the detainees access water.
“It has industrial heat and odour extractor. Good water supply with recreational areas. On this note, I wish to inform you that the project has been completed and ready for commision,” Brig Gen Chima, the sight Engineer said.
Commissioning the newly constructed detention facility, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Yusuf Buratai, said that for a very long time, the Army has been contemplating on how it will construct such a facility of international best standard.
The Chief of Army Staff, who was represented by the Theatre Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, Maj Gen Rogers Nicholas said the commissioning of the centre is a privilege for the detainees to know that the Army is not an oppressor, but an Army that has a human face.
He added that the established modern facility will go a long way in changing the narrative in the criticism of the Nigerian Military, saying that the centre will house the detainees before being taken to the “safe corridor initiative” or to various courts of law.
Reacting to the recent criticism of the Nigerian Army by some international organisations on human right abuses, the Theatre Commander, Brig Gen Rogers Nicholas said, “We also look at those positive criticisms to see where we can improve on it. The military is not against positive criticism, but in doing so, we must understand that Nigeria, as a nation, is a sovereign state and its armed forces are also sovereign.
“When an organisation on its own, brought out allegation against the military, the military had to respond to that,” he added.