The Criminality of Counter-Insurgency in North-East Nigeria, 2012-2019

A Study of the Multinational Joint Task Force


  • Moses Yakubu University of Lagos, Akoka, Lagos
  • Mr. Franklin University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State
  • Dr. Taiwo University of Lagos, Akoka


War Crime, MNJTF, North-East, Nigeria, Terrorism


The Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) is the major collaborative military initiative among the countries of the Lake Chad Basin Commission (LCBC) saddled with the responsibility of combating Boko Haram Terrorism (BHT) within the region. Although the body seems to have achieved some successes, they have however, over the years, been involved in seemingly clandestine activities such as torture, extra-judicial execution, gender-based violence, etc., which, according to international humanitarian law, if committed during non-international armed conflict, are regarded as war crimes. This study seeks to investigate the nature and pattern of war crimes committed by some Nigerian military forces under the MNJTF in the course of Counter-Insurgency (COIN) operations against Boko Haram terrorists in north-east Nigeria between 2012 and 2019. It also investigates the implications of these travesties on victims, the war against terrorism and Nigeria in general. It analyses the various war crimes committed by the MNJTF. It also examines the measures for curbing the criminal activities of some members of the MNJTF. This study engages the following issues: what are the war crimes committed by the Nigerian soldiers under the MNJTF or why is the latter accused of gross human rights violations? What are the implications of the criminality of the MNJTF? What measures should be taken to curb the criminality of the MNJTF in north-east Nigeria? This study uses both primary and secondary sources. It anchors on Biological and Cultural Transmission Theories of criminology. The study reveals that the statutory body in charge of countering terrorism and also securing human lives, is also, like the Boko Haram terrorists, terrorising innocent civilians and promoting insecurity in north-east Nigeria. The conclusion is that the MNJTF is smudged with the brush of brutality and terrorism.

Author Biographies

Mr. Franklin, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State

Aideloje, K. Franklin is a graduate of International Studies and Diplomacy from the University of Benin. He graduated TOP of his class in both programmes with a GPA of 4.7/5.0 in his M.A. He is currently on the verge of completing another Master of Science degree (MSc) in International Relations at Wellspring University, Benin. He is a young scholar with research interests that revolve around nationalism, good governance, international organization, youth movements, civil society organizations, democracy, Pan-Africanism, insurgency, terrorism, regional security organizations such as the Multinational Joint Task Force established to counter the activities of Boko Haram, ISWAP (Islamic State of West Africa Province), and inter-group relations. He has conducted researches in some of these areas and has published book chapters. Some of his scholarly articles have undergone peer reviews and are awaiting publication. Only recently, he won a travel grant sponsored by the University of Edinburg, Scotland to participate in a Workshop organized by the Conflict Research Institute, West Africa, in which he is a bonafide member and to present a paper on “Farmers-Herders Conflict: Implications for Inter-group Relations in Edo State.”

Dr. Taiwo, University of Lagos, Akoka

Dr. Babwale Solomon Taiwo, an alumnus of the Bergen summer research school is  a senior  lecturer in the department of religious studies university of Lagos  .he was awarded  Ph.D. by the Lagos state University, Master of Arts by the University of Ibadan and Bachelor of Arts by the Ogun State University  where he graduated as the best student in Religious Studies in 1991, winning both the Departmental and Elijah  Ogungbe Memorial Prizes  in Religious Studies. He specializes in environmental theology, peace and security studies and religious education. He was pioneer secretary Nigerian Association for Biblical Studies, Western zone. He is a member of the African Association for the Study of Religions, Society of Biblical Studies, Nigerian Association for Biblical Studies, Nigerian Association for Christian Studies and Nigeria Association for the Study of Religions. He is the immediate past coordinator for Christian Studies School of Foundations, University of Lagos. He has published in local and international journals.




How to Cite

Yakubu, M., Aideloje, F., & Babawale, S. (2022). The Criminality of Counter-Insurgency in North-East Nigeria, 2012-2019: A Study of the Multinational Joint Task Force. Journal of Central and Eastern European African Studies, 2(1). Retrieved from