#COVID19: Nigeria Security Forces Have Killed 18 So Far Amid Pandemic Lockdown — NHRC

by on April 16, 2020

In a bid to contain the COVID-19 Paandemic, Africa’s most populous nation has imposed a total lockdown in it’s manor cities; Lagos and the (FCT) Federal Capital Territory, Abuja While setting restrictions in other Regions.

According to (NCDC) Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Nigeria has a case of 407 infected persons, with 128 discharged so far, and 12 deaths.

In order to implement the stay-at-home order by the Federal Government, Security forces, including police and army, have been deployed to enforce the restrictions, sparking deadly confrontations in some states.

In a report released By the National Human Rights Commission late on Wednesday, it started that, it had received and documented “105 complaints of incidents of human rights violations perpetuated by security forces” in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states including the FCT.

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Of these complaints, “there were 8 documented incidents of extrajudicial killings leading to 18 deaths”, it said.

The commission noted that killings From the implementation of the stay-at-home order was higher than the recorded toll from the disease itself.

“Whereas Covid-19 led to the death of 11 victims, law enforcement agents extrajudicially executed 18 persons in the cause of the enforcement regulations,” it said, referring to the official virus toll as at the time of the report.

It accused the security agents of “excessive or disproportionate use of force, abuse of power, corruption and non-adherence to national and international laws, best practices and rules of engagement.”

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Frank Mba, the National police spokesman in response to the the commission said the commission was “too general in its allegations,” saying it ought to have been specific in the number of people killed by the police.

“The commission should have given details of those killed by the police, their number, names and places where they were killed to enable us take appropriate actions,” he Said.

He added that the police would continue to enforce the lockdown measures “professionally and in line with international best practices.”

He said the police authorities would not condone any abuses or infractions against the personnel, adding that recently an officer who extorted money from a civilian was punished and made to refund it to the owner.

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There have been consistent and growing fears of a rise in crime and unrest due to the Lockdown, especially in Lagos and Ogun, as millions of people living in poverty have been cut off from their vital source of income, and has resolved to violence.

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