Reps urge Buhari to order prosecution of security agents involved in rights abuses, killings during COVID-19 lockdown

The House of Representatives Tuesday implored President Muhammad Buhari to order the prosecution of security agents implicated in human rights abuses and killing of innocent Nigerians during the enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown.

The House also condemned in its entirety, the rights abuse, especially the brutalization, extortion and the killing of innocent Nigerians by security operatives in Abia and other states of the federation.

The call followed the adoption of a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by the Deputy Whip of the House, Nkiruka Onyejiocha.

Onyejiocha, who moved the motion titled: “Urgent Call for Immediate Stoppage of Human Rights Abuses and Extra-Judicial Killings of Innocent Nigerians by Security Operatives in the Enforcement of COVID-19 Lockdown,” said the unfortunate incident was recorded in several states of the federation.

According to her, over 18 deaths were recorded at the time.

She said: “The House recalls that on March 29, 2020, the Federal and some State Governments declared a 14-day lockdown in Abuja, Lagos and Ogun State to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

“We recall that security agencies including the Nigeria Police Force, the military and para-military agencies were saddled with the responsibility of enforcing compliance with the lockdown within the limits of their rules of engagement and in regards for human rights.

“We also regret that within the initial period of the lockdown, security operatives had, according to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), extra-judicially killed 18 innocent Nigerians in Abia, Delta, Ebonyi, Kaduna, Katsina, and Niger States.

“Further regrets that as of April 13, 2020, when the lockdown was extended for another two weeks, that figure was more than the total number of Nigerians killed by the virus.”

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