COVID-19: NHRC releases report of alleged 11 extra-judicial killings

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has released its report of alleged human rights violation recorded between April 13 to 4th May 2020, alleging eleven extra-judicial killings across the country. The report said the complaints of human rights violations were received and documented in areas of extra-judicial killings, violation of the right to freedom of […]

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has released its report of alleged human rights violation recorded between April 13 to 4th May 2020, alleging eleven extra-judicial killings across the country.

The report said the complaints of human rights violations were received and documented in areas of extra-judicial killings, violation of the right to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, seizure/confiscation of properties, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and extortion.

“There were 11 documented incidents of extra-judicial killing leading to 11 deaths. Out of this number, four deaths were recorded in Abia State alone.

“Delta State recorded two deaths, while Niger, Jigawa, Lagos, Anambra and Rivers States recorded one death each”.

The report further showed that out of the 11 deaths, the Nigeria Police Force was responsible for seven deaths, while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Nonstate Actors and the Abia State Task Force on COVID–19 were responsible for one death each.

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The Commission said an investigation was still on-going as at the time of the report to unravel the perpetrators of the extra-judicial killings that occurred in Jigawa State.

Other types of violation recorded within the period, the report said, include 34 incidents of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, 14 incidents of violation of the right to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, 11 incidents of seizure/confiscation of properties, 19 incidents of extortion and 15 incidents of SGBV.

The report also added that 18 incidents of violations representing about 17.3% of the complaints have been resolved by different security agencies and the Commission, adding that, the various human rights violations recorded during the period arose as a result of excessive or disproportionate use of force, abuse of power, corruption and none adherence to international and national human rights laws and best practices by law enforcement agents.

The Commission, however, said there was an improvement in the enforcement of COVID-19 regulations by law enforcement officers, Task Forces on COVID 19 and other non-state actors and attributed the improvement to the level of awareness created by the Commission following the release of its initial report of April 14, 2020, as well as efforts to ensure accountability and adherence to the rules of engagement on the part of Law Enforcement Agencies (LEAs).

The report showed that Enugu State has the highest recorded cases with 13 incidents unlike Lagos State that had the highest cases with 28 incidents in the earlier report released by the Commission.

“This is followed by Imo State which had 12 incidents. Akwa Ibom and Nasarawa States recorded 10 incidents each, while Delta and Abia States recorded 9 and 7 incidents respectively.

“Lagos State recorded 5 cases, while Abuja and Benue States recorded four cases each. This is followed by Niger, Zamfara, Osun and Rivers States with three incidents each.

“Other states such as Anambra, Jigawa, Bayelsa and Edo States recorded two incidents each; while Ogun, Kogi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Kano, Cross River and Ekiti States recorded one incident each”, the report stated.

The report showed some improvement and restraint in the enforcement of the lockdown on the part of law enforcement officials following the public outrage and condemnation by all levels of authorities in the government, Judiciary, the Legislature and the Executive as well as civil society.

“Accordingly, a protocol has been established between the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 and the Commission to ensure accountability for the violations in line with the statement of the President that all alleged human rights violations will be investigated and accountability brought to bear for them.

“All the alleged violations have been communicated to the oversight Ministries of the law enforcement agencies for full investigation and accountability”, the report said.

NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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