By Lolo Ayaba
A non-governmental organization, Network for Police Reform in Nigeria (NOPRIN) has urged the Federal Government to investigate all complaints and reports of extrajudicial executions by law enforcement officers across the country, saying it is the only way that Nigeria can experience true change and development.
Recounting the number of victims killed extra judicially by security operatives especially policemen in the last thirteen months, the National Coordinator, NOPRIN Ikule Emmanuel who spoke at a media briefing in Ikeja, Lagos, lamented that extrajudicial killings have risen exponentially because of “death squads”, private armies, criminal gangs and paramilitary forces operating outside the chain of command emphasising that members of such groups who have perpetrated extrajudicial executions should be brought to justice.
Ikule explained that from January 2019 to January, 2020 “We were able to document and follow up about 26 cases of extrajudicial killings in Nigeria with Lagos state accounting for 38%”
He however, called on the President, Inspector-General of Police, and the Chief of Defence Staff, to take appropriate steps to curb the acts of killings perpetrated by men of the force noting that as law enforcement officers, they are supposed to promote, protect lives and property, have respect for the rule of law, except where laws have stated otherwise.
Similarly the Chairperson FIDA Lagos State, Phil Nneji, said that the “Government should ensure that those responsible for extrajudicial executions are brought to justice.
“Governments should ensure that anyone in danger of extrajudicial execution, including those who receive death threats, is effectively protected.This principle should apply wherever such people happen to be, wherever the crime was committed, whatever the nationality of the perpetrators or victims and no matter how much time has elapsed since the commission of the crime. Trials should be in the civilian courts. The perpetrators should not be allowed to benefit from any legal measures exempting them from criminal prosecution or conviction.
Phil Nneji, added that “The Senate President should live up to the requirements of their office to make laws, adhere to it and protect lives and properties of the people of this country and if they cannot, they should leave the office for those who can.