ABUJA, APR 17 (DNA) – Nigerian security forces have killed 18 people in their enforcement of measures to curb coronavirus, a figure higher than the documented toll inflicted by the disease, the country’s human rights body said.
Africa’s most populous nation has imposed a total lockdown in megacity Lagos and the capital Abuja and set restrictions in other regions in a bid to contain the virus.
According to official figures, coronavirus has so far infected 407 people in Nigeria, 12 of them fatally.
Security forces, including police and army, have been deployed to enforce the restrictions, sparking deadly confrontations in some states.
In a report released late on Wednesday, the National Human Rights Commission said it had received and documented “105 complaints of incidents of human rights violations perpetuated by security forces” in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja.
Of these complaints, “there were 8 documented incidents of extrajudicial killings leading to 18 deaths”, it said.
The commission noted that the tally of killings was higher than the recorded toll from the disease itself.
“Whereas Covid-19 led to the death of 11 victims, law enforcement agents extrajudicially executed 18 persons in the cause of the enforcement regulations,” it said, referring to the official virus toll at the time of the report.
It accused the security agents of “excessive or disproportionate use of force, abuse of power, corruption and non-adherence to national and international laws, best practices and rules of engagement.”=DNA