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Nigeria recorded over 40 extra-judicial killings in 2016 — Rights group

By Omeiza Ajayi

A human rights group, the Office of the Citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has accused the police of being involved in the extra-judicial killing of over 40 Nigerians in 2016.

Human rights lawyer and convener of the group, Pelumi Olajengbesi, said, yesterday: “The Nigeria Police Act empowers the personnel to conduct searches on anybody reasonably suspected to have committed a crime or who is in custody of anything that can amount to a breach of the peace or inimical to national security. However, this power is not absolute.

We are worried today that the Nigerian Police Force tend to use this power that is vested in them by the law in a very reckless manner an that is why we are calling on the government and the leadership of the police to tame all of these officers who are abusing the fundamental rights of Nigerians across the country.

Olajengbesi urged the police to stop killing young people, saying the country’s future is uncertain when its youth are being wiped out indiscriminately.

He urged victims of police brutality to speak out and reach out to its officers, promising to defend for free, such people.

On the recent report by the National Bureau of Statistics NBS which indicted the police and other agencies of collecting bribe to the tune of over N400 billion, the group expressed worry that since the emergence of the current leadership of the force, “there has been no meaningful development. Extortion is the order of the day. Recently, in Akungba, three students were killed on the basis that they refused the police to check their phones, and the Nigerian government is doing nothing about it.”

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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