Igbo Group, Human Rights Lawyer Demand Arrest of Police for Killing Girl at Lagos Rally
The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) and a human rights lawyer, Adeola Oyinlade, have demanded for the arrest and prosecution of security operatives who allegedly killed a salesgirl during the Yoruba Nation rally held on Saturday in Ojota, Lagos.
COSEYL said in a statement signed by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, that the regime of the President Muhammadu Buhari had become worse than that of the late military head of state, Gen. Sani Abacha.
The statement read in part:
“The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, the apex socio-political youth group in the South East geopolitical zone, condemns in strongest terms the ruthless shootings against unarmed protesters by the Nigerian police and other security agents in the Yoruba Nation rally in Ojota, Lagos State that led to the untimely death of a 14-year-old yoghurt seller, Jumoke. Peaceful protest, which is a fundamental human right of all citizens, is not allowed in a supposed democratic government. Nigeria has gone back to the dark days, worse than Abacha’s military junta
“It is no longer news that so many families are going to bed on a daily basis hungry as a result of the harsh economic policies that made things so difficult for Nigerians. Most families can hardly boast of just one meal a day. People are dying because of excessive hunger and starvation in the country.
“The only democracy dividends in Nigeria today are hunger, starvation, killings by murderous Fulani herdsmen/terrorists, massacre by Boko Haram terrorists and ISWAP and food shortage caused by the activities of the terrorists who make it very difficult for farmers to go to farm.”
Equally, the human rights lawyer, Oyinlade, described the girl’s killing as sad, unwarranted and avoidable, noting that it raised serious concerns over the strategy, policy and tactics of Nigeria’s policing system.
He said at this critical period in the country, the police should adhere to human rights and international standards to gain the trust of the people while carrying out their duties lawfully.
He said “One should know that when live ammunition is used on protesters, there would be a casualty. I do not see a justification or proportionality of firing live bullets in this case which has now resulted in the death of an innocent girl who did not commit any crime.
“The plethora of laws in Nigeria does not empower the Nigerian police to abuse firearms or kill any person at will. The constitution is emphatically clear that no person shall be deprived of his or her life except in execution of the sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence of which the person has been found guilty.
“With a number of avoidable deaths recorded while quelling protests over the years in Nigeria, the police should immediately embrace human rights based approach to policing and ensure that the Nigerian Police’s actions are in accordance with the fundamental principles for the development of a fair and just society.
“The innocent girl killed today (Saturday) deserves justice. Her parents and family members have been put in an unexpected state of mourning. I call on the leadership of the Nigeria Police Force, Lagos State Command, to immediately commence investigation on this matter, fish out and prosecute the killer.”
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