Amnesty Intl advises Nigerian govt on UN report

Shiites Protesters
File photo of Shiites Protesters at Berger area. Close to Utako market during Wednesday's IMN protest.

Amnesty International Nigeria has responded to a preliminary report issued by the United Nations Special Rapporteur, Agnes Callamard, on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions in Nigeria.

PREMIUM TIMES reported the preliminary findings on September 3.

Ms Callamard’s findings reflected the need for “more to be done to end extra-judicial executions, the excessive use of force by the police, violence against women and widespread impunity in Nigeria.”

Response

In response to the findings, Amnesty International Nigeria advised (Nigerian) authorities to use them (the findings) as as a blueprint to establish bias-free investigations.

The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, in a statement said, “the findings of the UN should guide the Nigerian authorities to initiate independent, impartial and effective investigations into allegations of extrajudicial executions and other
unlawful killings.”

According to Amnesty International Nigeria, authorities once again have the opportunity “to demonstrate a committed to the justice, human rights and the rule of law by concretely taking steps to address what the UN Special Rapporteur described as an ‘injustice pressure cooker”‘.

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On September 2, Ms Callamard questioned the Nigerian government’s ability to carry out proper investigations into killings as they fail to meet international investigation standards.

She cited the killings of Deputy Police Commissioner, Usman Umar, and Channels Television Reporter, Precious Owolabi, who were shot dead during a protest by the Shiites group in Abuja.

The group was demanding the release of its leader, Ibrahim El Zakzaky, who has been in detention since 2016.

The police, without evidence, declared the IMN responsible for the killings before the government investigated.

“This stresses the need for the Nigerian government to improve on investigation so as to further build accountability in the nation,” the official said.

In Ms Callamard’s words “the lack of accountability could lead to a breakdown of confidence in the government, and may lead people to provide themselves with their own form of security.”

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