Fred Itua, Abuja
A report by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) on alleged human rights violations recorded between April 13th and May 4th, following the extension of the COVID-19 lockdown period, has revealed that a total of 104 complaints were monitored and received from 27 states across Nigeria.
The Executive Secretary the Commission, Mr Tony Ojukwu, gave an update on the earlier report on the various incidents of human rights violations allegedly perpetrated by security agencies and other actors monitored by the commission.
He said the report also documented the various thematic areas in which the violations occurred, the nature of the violations, the disaggregated data on state-reported violations, the agencies of government responsible for the violations as well as the response/action taken to remedy the violations.
Ojukwu listed the states monitored as: Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Kano, Jigawa, Cross Rivers, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, Ekiti, Delta, Imo; Lagos, Nasarawa, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Borno, Bayelsa, Kogi, Benue, Anambra, Kaduna, Gombe, Zamfara and Rivers.
The report showed Enugu State as having the highest recorded number of cases of violations, with 13 incidents, compared to Lagos State which had the highest recorded cases with 28 incidents in the earlier report. This is followed by Imo State with 12 incidents, Akwa Ibom and Nasarawa States with 10 incidents each, while Delta and Abia States recorded nine and seven incidents, respectively.
“Lagos State recorded five cases, while FCT and Benue StateS recorded four cases each, followed by Niger, Zamfara, Osun and Rivers States with three incidents each. Anambra, Jigawa, Bayelsa and Edo States recorded two incidents each, while Ogun, Kogi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Adamawa, Ebonyi, Kano, Cross River and Ekiti States recorded one incident each,” the report indicates.
Mr Ojukwu boss further disclosed that “the complaints of human rights violations were received and documented in the areas of extra-judicial killings, violation of the right to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, seizure/confiscation of properties, sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), torture, inhumane and degrading treatment and extortion.
“There were 11 documented incidents of extra-judicial killing leading to 11 deaths. Out of this number, four deaths were recorded in Abia State alone. Delta State recorded two deaths, while Niger, Jigawa, Lagos, Anambra and Rivers States recorded one death each.
“The report further shows that out of the 11 deaths, the Nigeria Police Force was responsible for seven deaths, while the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), nonstate actors and the Abia State Task Force on COVID-19 were responsible for one death each.”
According to him, “investigation was still on-going as at the time of the report to unravel the perpetrator of the extra-judicial killing that occurred in Jigawa State.”
The report also showed other types of violations recorded within the period to include 34 incidents of torture, inhumane and degrading treatment, 14 incidents of violation of the right to freedom of movement, unlawful arrest and detention, 11 incidents of seizure/confiscation of properties, 19 incidents of extortion and 15 incidents of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV).
“The report finds that the Nigeria Police Force accounted for 59.6 per cent of the total cases of violations, followed by non-state actors… mostly private individuals, in SGBV related cases which accounted for 18.3 per cent of the total cases.
“The various task forces on enforcement of COVID-19 regulations across the states accounted for 10.5 per cent of the total cases; while the Nigeria Army and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) accounted for 7.7 per cent and 1.9 per cent, respectively.
“The Department of State Services (DSS) also accounted for 1 per cent of the total cases, while a perpetrator representing the other 1 per cent was yet to be determined as at the time of this report.”