An exposition of how ordinary citizens are caught in the crossfire in the search for Boko Haram

This week on Special Assignment we continue with the exposition of the desperate war that Nigeria seems to be waging on its citizens, in its frantic search for Boko Haram. This follows the kidnap of more than 200 Nigerian schoolgirls by the hard line Islamists shocked the world – which focused new attention on the terrorist group Boko Haram.

This documentary reveals the other side of Nigeria’s war on terror and examines dozens of videos and eyewitness testimonies that show how innocent civilians are being tortured, imprisoned and even murdered allegedly by the Nigerian army and its civilian militia. Together, they amount to powerful evidence proving that elements of the Nigerian state could be guilty of war crimes. Human rights investigators say as many 4,000 people have died in military custody since the conflict escalated two years ago. The programme includes video of: the bodies of dozens of young men whom witnesses say were executed in cold blood by Nigerian soldiers, men who have reportedly died in military custody, evidence of at least eleven young men being executed by uniformed Nigerian soldiers without any evidence of due process to determine whether they were Boko Haram members.

Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan has apparently hailed this militia as “new national heroes.”

Shehu Sani, the President of the Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria and an opposition politician says: These are young men that have the knowledge of the north eastern part of Nigeria so now the military can have someone by proxy carrying out their activities without them being held responsible.”

The militias armed themselves with Machetes, Cutlasses, bows and arrows. They adopted the official title Civilian Joint Taskforce.” The state allegedly paid them salaries and some of them received basic training from members of the military.

Militia insiders admit to torturing victims.

Watch “NIGERIA’S HIDDEN WAR” is produced by Reporter, Producer and Documentary filmmaker Evan Williams. It will be broadcast on Special Assignment – Sunday on SABC 3 at 20:00PM.