Nigeria's National Human Rights Council has named a 5-person panel to investigate claims President Goodluck Jonathan is training a hit squad to assassinate opponents in the run-up to 2015 elections.

A statement says an extraordinary emergency meeting of the council Wednesday decided the panel should hold public hearings into that and other allegations made by former President Olusegun Obasanjo. Jonathan requested the investigation after the charges were made public.

The panel is to investigate whether there have been state-sponsored killings or assassinations in Nigeria since November 1995 and, if so, what organizations, institutions, agencies or people were or are involved in such killings.

It will investigate whether there is a hit list of people to be assassinated.

Jonathan's party is splintering over his perceived desire to run for re-election.