The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has said that the official record of the extrajudicial killing by security agents while enforcing COVID-19 lockdown was inaccurate, saying some people killed were not recorded.
The body said deaths from extrajudicial killings by security agencies enforcing the lockdown directives which was put at 18 by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) did not capture those killed without reports about them in the media.
In a statement issued by COPA’s National Coordinator, Pelumi Olajengbesi and sent to DAILY POST, it explained that the trigger-happy and belligerent cops had during the enforcement and under different circumstances taken lives of Nigerians.
They called for civility and professionalism of security agents in the course of enforcement of directives of President Muhammadu Buhari.
“COPA is putting out this statement in pursuance of a call to order, civility in enforcement, a demand for responsibility and the application of severe sanctions against murderous officers on the following premises.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is one that presents a novel difficulty that has daunted even more developed countries around the world.
“However, the enemy is the virus and not the people, and the objective of the lockdown is to save lives and not take it under the guise of enforcement of state directives of a lockdown”
They reminded the Federal government that the socio-economic means of those killed and that of majority of Nigerians have been suspended by the emergence of COVID-19 pandemic.
While insisting that security agents should act with caution, the statement added: “This hints on the need for governments to act with more understanding and temperament through its enforcers, rather than sanction the use of excessive force by officers by refusing to call the ranks of officers and enforcers on the streets nationwide to order.
“It is little news that the Nigeria Police Force through its men are notorious for extrajudicial killings, however, such infamy is hardly conferred the cloak of legitimacy given its prevalence.”