LOCKDOWN: 18 persons killed by security agents – NHRC

By Chimezie Godfrey

18 persons have been killed by security agents while enforcing the lockdown ordered by the federal government to curtail the spread of corona-virus, according to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).

The NHRC in a report on the first phase of the lockdown, from March 30t to April 13, also disclosed that a total of 105 complaints bordering on rights violations were received from 24 states during the first phase of the lockdown.

According to the Executive Secretary, NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, the complaints came from the Federal Capital Territory, Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Benue, Cross Rivers and Ebonyi states.

Others were from Edo, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Katsina, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Plateau and Rivers states.

Ojukwu noted that the complaints received and documented by the NHRC within the period include cases of extrajudicial killings, violation of right to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, and seizure/confiscation of properties.

He added that there were also cases of sexual and gender based violence, discrimination, torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and extortion.

He,”Whereas COVID-19 has led to the death of about 11 patients to date (Wednesday), law enforcement agents have extrajudicially executed 18 persons to enforce the regulations.

“This speaks volumes of the protocols and rules of engagement for our law enforcement as well the efficiency level and capacity of law enforcement agents to deal with civil population.”