Security Agents Have Killed 18 People During Lockdown: Human Rights Group

Security agents in the country have killed 18 people in their enforcement of measures to curb coronavirus during the lockdown according to Human Rights Group.

According to DailyTrust, 12 persons have been killed by the virus with 407 cases in Nigeria, but security forces are said to have killed 18 persons during the lockdown.

The National Human Rights Commission in a report on Wednesday said it had received and documented “105 complaints of incidents of human rights violations perpetrated by security forces” in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja.

Of these complaints, “there were 8 documented incidents of extrajudicial killings leading to 18 deaths”, it said. The commission noted that the tally of killings 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.”

National police spokesman Frank Mba 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.

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“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 told AFP.

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

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