June 17, 2024

International Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law (Intersociety) has said over 100,000 unarmed and defenceless citizens have died directly or indirectly outside the law in the hands of security forces in the past eight years.

In a report on an investigation it conducted between August 2015 and December 2023 on killings in the country, made available to The Guardian in Enugu, the human rights group also stated that the country’s security forces would not achieve required results in the security of lives and property with the manner the Federal Government was going about it.

The report, signed by the group’s Board Chairman, Emeka Umeagbalasi, and Head, Campaign and Publicity, Chidinma Udegbunam, identified 28 major ‘Conduct-Atrocity’ operations carried out since August 2015 by Nigeria’s security forces and called for restructuring in the police, military and spy police to enable them perform effectively.

The report reads: “The direct or indirect death of over 100,000 unarmed and defenceless citizens of Nigeria in 100 months gone-by was found to have represented average yearly deaths outside the law of 12,500; 1,050 per month and 35 unlawful deaths per day. The ‘indirect deaths’ included those that died from torture and gunshot injuries or those abducted and disappeared; and hunger, starvations and deprivations visited upon their dependants occasioned by their absence. Included in this category are victims of the Jihadist Fulani herdsmen and jihadist Fulani bandits’ massacre or terror.

“Shockingly, about 70 per cent of the direct dead, tortured, abducted and disappeared victims are found to have belonged to members of the South-East, South-South and the old Middle-Belt Christians and non-Muslim others; out of which roughly 50 per cent represented the sedentary Trado-Judeo-Christian citizens of Igbo extraction openly shot and killed outside the law under false labelling and class criminalisation; or abducted from their homes or job places; or on their way to home or work or social outings and tortured or starved to death; or permanently disappeared or secretly held outside the provisions of the written laws without fair and evidence-base trial.”

It said the remaining 30 per cent represents the unarmed and defenceless Muslim victims killed or maimed during the Nigerian Security Forces’ counterinsurgency operations in Muslim parts of the North-East states of Borno, Yobe, Bauchi and Adamawa captured in the Amnesty International reports.

The report identified some of the 28 “Conduct Atrocity” operations to include the August 30 2015 massacre of 40 defenceless citizens during peaceful protests in Onitsha, Enugu, Yenagoa, Uyo, Port Harcourt and Asaba; December 17, 2015 massacre of 30 defenceless citizens in Onitsha; December 14-15, 2015 massacre of 1,000 unarmed Shiite Muslims during their religious processions in Zaria; January 18 and 29, 2016 massacre of 20 defenceless citizens during peaceful protests in Aba; 9th Feb 2016 massacre of 30 unarmed protesters in Aba, among others.

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