Lockdown: CSO raises alarm over killing of 9 persons by security agents in 4 States, FCT

Concerned Nigerians, a Civil Society Organisation (CSO) on Saturday, raised the alarm over killing of about nine persons by security agents in four states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) while enforcing Federal and State Governments’ lockdown and stay-at-home orders to contain the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

This was contained in a statement signed by Convener of Concerned Nigerians, Deji Adeyanju, while lamenting alleged extra-judicious killings within a week of the order by President Muhammadu Buhari and State Governors.

According to Adeyanju the States where the alleged killings took place include Abia, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Kaduna and FCT.

The statement reads in part, “As the World battles the COVID-19 pandemic that has claimed many lives and rendered many jobless, human rights abuses and extra Judicial killings as a result of the total lockdown announced by the government have claimed more lives than the pandemic itself.

“The government of Nigeria had in the wake of the rising cases of the Covid-19 announced the lockdown of 3 major cities, Abuja, the Capital city, Lagos and Ogun respectively to combat the virus and track infected persons.

“The law enforcement agencies charged with the responsibility to maintain law and order during the lockdown have killed 9 persons and injured many.   

“State by State Account of Extra-Judicial killings:   
Here are the state by state accounts of human rights violations in the country since the pandemic started in Nigeria:

“Federal Capital Territory, Abuja: In Abuja, a Nigerian who went out to get food for his pregnant wife was shot dead by the Nigerian Police at Banex Junction, Wuse 2 Abuja.

“Delta State:  An Army personnel reportedly shot a man identified as Mr Joseph Pessu dead in Delta State, south-south Nigeria.  The incident occurred on 2nd April 2020 at Ugbuwangue community in Warri South Local Government Area (LGA) of the state, on the second day of the lockdown directive issued by the state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa.

“Kaduna State:  No fewer than six youths were killed in Kaduna after a clash between the police and some traders. It was gathered that traders at the Sabon Garri-Trikania market had trooped out for business activities when they could no longer bear the brunt of the stay-at-home order by the government. But in enforcing the (COVID-19) lockdown ordered by the government, armed policemen were said to have opened fire to disperse the traders and in the process, six traders were killed.

“Akwa Ibom State:  A police officer identified as Sgt. Edidiong Alexander attached to Safer Highway lost his rank for violating the rights of one Dr Daniel David Edit working at the University of Uyo Teaching Hospital (UUTH) while on duty.

“Abia State: In Abia, a police inspector simply identified as Stanley shot dead Mr Chibuisi, a petrol station attendant while enforcing the lockdown in the area. Stanley was said to have tried to stop a vehicle that allegedly violated the lockdown order and in the process, a bullet went off and hit the victim who later died in the hospital while receiving medical attention.”

The group also expressed worry over human rights abuses and alleged killings of Nigerians, which it described as worrisome despite the agonizing situation of fighting the dreaded virus.

“As the nation battles this deadly virus, it is worrisome to note that human rights violations in Nigeria have claimed more lives than the pandemic itself. So far, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Nigeria as at 10th April 2020 is 305 and 7 deaths” it added.

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