ACCESS TO JUSTICE in Covid-19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACCESS TO JUSTICE

COVID-19: High-Handedness of Law Enforcements Agents

The Nigeria National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on Wednesday 15th April issued a statement highlighting the disproportionate human rights abuses and extrajudicial killings by law enforcement while enforcing the lockdown across several states. The statement highlighted that as at 15th April, 2020, law enforcers had killed 18 people in Nigeria since lockdowns began on 30 March, comparing them to the Coronavirus which had killed 12 people. Most of the violations reported above came after the statement by the NHRC. Similarly, there are several pictures and videos on social media reporting beating, destruction of properties and other inhumane actions by security personnel trying to enforce the Covid-19 lockdown across Nigeria. Read the full statement here

In response to the human rights violations trends, the Commission announced a portal for reporting violations:

Website: www.nigeriarights.gov.ng

Facebook: NHRC Nigeria Online

Telephone: 0703 339 8657 / 0803 787 5424 / 0803 435 4537

Some specific reported cases of human rights violations and extrajudicial killings while trying to enforce Covid-19 lockdown are below:

  1. A police woman Sergeant Lavender Elekwachi was accidently shot and killed by her colleague Bitrus Osaiah while trying to enforce the lockdown and disperse traders at market at Eneka community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
  2. The police on Tuesday 14th April allegedly shot and killed two men at New Tire market area of Nkpor, Anambra state while enforcing the lockdown. The 2 young men had been drinking beer at their residence when the police approached and ask them to move into their respective rooms. The young men insisted that they were at their residence and that the lockdown was not to force them into their rooms. This escalated into a heated argument between the police officers and the men. Angered, the police officers shot them, and ran off in their vehicle. Read More
  3. A police officer reportedly shot and killed a 10 year boy – Usman Abdukadir on Monday 2oth April while enforcing lockdown imposed on a market in Sankara community under Ringim Local Government areas of Jigawa state. The police spokesperson, Audu Jinjiri, denied that the boy was hit by a bullet. He, however, said the boy sustained a head injury by a stone peddled by rampaging youth resisting the lockdown order in the community. The police command in Jigawa stated that it had summoned the father of the victim to ascertain the truth of the matter, and vowed to render justice on the matter. Read more
  4. On Friday April 17, a police officer Mr Kingsley Odogu, shot and killed one Ifeanyi Arunsi. It was reported that three police officer who were off-duty when on a drinking spree in Ebem Ohafia. the policemen, led by an Assistant Superintendent of Police, who were neither on duty nor on COVID-19 preventive assignment, went out in a private car belonging to one of them to a drinking bar, where they got drunk and on their return home, the driver hit a truck where Ifeanyi and his co-workers were off-loading goods. In an ensuing argument between the policemen and the people off-loading goods, one of the policemen, Constable Kingsley disappeared from the scene and resurfaced with a police rifle and started shooting sporadically under the influence of alcohol during which a bullet hit the Ifeanyi and killed him. Read more
  5. Two police officers Inspector Ikuesan Taiwo AP/NO. 251724 and PC Abass Ibrahim with F/NO. 509634 respectively were arrested and detained by Osun state police command on Sunday 19th April for the unprovoked assault of a lady – Alimat Abdulazeez as depicted in a viral video at Odo-Ori market in Iwo, Osun state during enforcement of COVID-19 lockdown order. Read more
  6. A Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corp Personnel, Eke Richards shot and killed one Amobi Igwe on Tuesday April 15, 2020. The incident occurred at the tollgate area of the Umuahia-Aba Expressway in Umuikea, Isialangwa South Local Government Area of Abia State around 7.10am, while the victim was conveying food items to Aba. The NSCDC officer was alleged to have demanded for a bribe from the driver, who refused him. Richard was alleged to have aimed his rifle at the driver and threatened to shoot him if he refused to hand over the key of the vehicle to him. When Amobi did not budge, Richards shot him at close range and ran into the nearby police station to escape a mob attack. Read more
  7. Joseph Pessu, a resident of Warri in Delta state was shot dead for allegedly flouting a stay-at-home order by one of the soldiers deployed to the city to enforce lockdown. According to media reports, the deceased was killed by the soldier while attempting to escape from his Toyota Camry car after breaching a security checkpoint. Read more
  8. On April 6, 2020, a clash between operatives of the Civilian Joint Task Force (JTF) and some youth in Tirkania community, a suburb of Kaduna, claimed four lives, with many injured. It was reported that live bullets were used by the JTF on the protesting youths. Read more

 COVID-19: Courts Convict 42 Lockdown Violators, Impound Vehicles

With a view to enforcing the lockdown in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) Covid-19 Enforcement Team established mobile courts sitting in different parts of the Federal Capital Territory to prosecute violators.

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