Lockdown: Security operatives murder 22, COVID-19 kills 21, says rights group
By Samuel Ogunsona
Security operatives in Nigeria have killed no fewer than 22 Nigerians, a figure just a little bit more than 21 people killed by COVID-19, Peoplea Alternative, a radical movement said on Monday.
In a statememt made avialable to Irohinoodua signed by its Secretary General, Eze Alloysius, Peoples Alternative said attacks on Nigerians including killings by security operatives continue in the midst of the lockdown.
The group has compiled this list and victims and promises to seek justice for families of the berieved. People’s Alternative is a coalition of several civil society and labour movements across Nigeria.
The Peoples Alternative said reports of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) released on April 19 indicated thay the coronavirus pandemic has claimed 21 lives in Nigeria. At about the same time security forces have unleashed brutal physical assault on the people for allegedly violating the provisions of the COVID-19 Regulations made by Federal and State governments.
He said in the process, security forces resorted to jungle justice by engaging in the cold blooded murder of 22 unarmed citizens.
“Up till now the authorities have not deemed it fit to condemn the unlawful killings of the 22 citizens or condole the bereaved family members,” Alloysius said.
He cite reports published by the National Human Rights Commission, (NHRC) last week which indicated that security forces have killed 18 people in six states namely, Kaduna-12, Abia-2, Niger-1, Delta-1,Ebonyi-1,Katsina-1
Peoples Alternative said in addition to the 18 people captured in the report of the National Human Rights Commission it has confirmed that the security forces were also involved in the brutal killing of 4 other people in 3 states namely, Anambra-2, Delta-1 and Cross River-1
“The armed security personned who murdered the 22 citizens are drawn from the nigerian army, nigeria police force, national secuty and civil defence corps and nigeria correctional service. In spite of the official assurance that the unlawful killings will not be swept under the carpet the murder suspects have not been charged before any court in the country” the group .
It noted that hundreds of people are being charged, tried and convicted for violating the COVID-19 Regulations in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) and in all states of the Federation.
“Since culpable homicide or murder is a state offence we are compelled to call on the Attorneys-General of the respective states where the killings occured to demand for the case files from the police with a view to filing charges against the murder suspects in the appropriate courts without any further delay” the group warned.
It also called on the relevant branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) to monitor the prosecution of all the culprits.
“On our own part, we are briefing human rights lawyers to file suits in the High Courts and claim monetary damages for the bereaved families of the 22 people whose precious lives have been illegally terminated by the security forces” Alloysius said.