Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, has written the National Human Rights Commission, saying that 21 persons, rather than 18, were killed by security agencies during the first phase of the coronavirus lockdown in Nigeria.
The NHRC had in a report released on Wednesday said 18 persons were extrajudicially executed by security agents while enforcing the lockdown ordered by the Federal Government to curb the spread of the COVID -19 disease in the country.
However, in a letter addressed to the Executive Secretary of the NHRC on Thursday, Falana said three other killings were not captured in the report.
Parts of the letter, entitled ‘Re: COVID – 19 killings by security forces’, read, “Our attention has been drawn to your report on the 18 people that were brutally killed in Kaduna, Abia, Niger and Katsina states by the armed personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps deployed by the Federal Government to enforce the COVID-19 Regulations.
“However, we have confirmed the unlawful killing of three other persons after the compilation of your report.
“Specifically, a taxi driver in Cross River State while two other persons were shot dead by the police in Anambra State.
“Thus, you will agree with us that 21 Nigerian citizens have lost their lives in the hands of trigger happy security personnel under the pretext of enforcing the COVID-19 regulations.”
Falana urged the Commission to update the report, and also investigate the killings.
The lawyer also called for compensation for the victims’ families.
“Apart from updating your report, we urge you to use your good offices to conduct an investigation into the unlawful killing of the 21 persons and ensure that the culprits are prosecuted for murder or culpable homicide.
“Furthermore, we request you to ensure that the bereaved family members of the slain citizens are adequately compensated by the federal government.”
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