The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has revealed security agencies across the country have killed more Nigerians while enforcing the lockdown directive introduced by government to combat the coronavirus pandemic than those who died from the virus.
According to a report released by the Commission on Wednesday, 18 Nigerians have been killed by security agencies – which is more than 11, the number of persons that have died after contracting the virus in the country so far.
The NHRC executive secretary, Tony Ojukwu, while commenting on the development alleged many security agencies trampled upon the rights of the citizens in addition to the extrajudicial killings orchestrated by them.
The report read: “There were 8 documented incidents of extra-judicial killing leading to 18 deaths. Out of this number, 12 deaths were recorded in Kaduna State. Abia State also recorded 2 deaths arising from 2 incidents; while Delta, Niger, Ebonyi and Katsina States recorded 1 death each.
“The report further shows that out of the 18 deaths, the Nigeria Correctional Service was responsible for 8 deaths while the Nigeria Police Force was responsible for 7 deaths.
“The Nigeria Army on the other hand was responsible for 2 deaths while the Ebonyi State Task Force on Covid-19, Afikpo South LGA was responsible for 1 death.
“It’s a sheer display of impunity and reckless disregard for human life in law enforcement by security personnel.”
Ojukwu, however, reiterated NHRC’s commitment to ensure justice for victims of human rights abuse, noting it has already developed a mobile application to monitor and document such violations.
The development comes after prominent figures including Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) Femi Falana, kicked against the deployment of soldiers in enforcing the lockdown directive introduced by both federal and state governments across the country to fight the spread of the novel disease.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Monday extended the two weeks lockdown in Abuja as well as Lagos and Ogun states by another 14 days — a move that has continue to generate several reactions.