Vanguard (Lagos)

Nigeria: LEDAP Task FG On Extra-Judicial Killings

Lagos — As the world marks the World Human Rights Day, yesterday, Legal Defence and Assistance Project, LEDAP, has called on the Federal Government to set up a high level judicial commission of inquiry into extra-judicial executions and summary killings in the country in order to identify and prosecute the perpetrators and provide redress to families of the victims.

It also launched its report on extra judicial executions in Nigeria between 2010 and 2011 as part of activities to mark the day.

National Coordinator of LEDAP, Mr Chino Obiagwu, said that the "report titled "Impunity in Nigeria: Report of extra judicial executions, arbitrary and summary killings 2010-2011,' notes that on the average, six persons were unlawfully killed every day and one out of 56 Nigerians died from gun violence in 2010 and 2011.

Despite the high number of killings, only eight per cent of the cases were prosecuted within the period, resulting in an impunity rate of 92 per cent. Impunity is where people who commit crimes are not punished and their victims do not get redress or remedy.

"We can use the opportunity of the human rights day to reiterate our earlier call on the Nigerian government to immediately sack the Inspector-General of Police, IG and overhaul the police and other law enforcement authorities in order to reduce the high level of insecurity in the country.

"It is clear that the IG does not have the competence and capacity to handle the increasing insecurity and lawlessness in the country. He recently said that there was no law under which to prosecute culprits of unlawful killings, a statement that demonstrated his lack of knowledge of the relevant legal framework and competence to manage the Nigeria's security system."

"Across the country, police and other security agencies hide under the guise of terrorists attacks to kill innocent citizens and the police authorities are doing or nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice. The security and welfare of the citizens is the primary function of government and the right to life is the basic rights. If government cannot provide and protect lives of its citizens, and punish those who violate the right to life of others, then the government has failed in its primary responsibility to its people.

"The report reveals that "in 2010 and 2011, gun violence was the highest cause of untimely death in Nigeria, followed by road accidents. The increasing level of insecurity to lives and property is the highest threat to political stability and economic development in Nigeria. The government must take urgent steps to address the situation increase law enforcement intelligence, punish those involved in unlawful killings and ensure that families of victims receive adequate compensation."

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