Femi Falana has written to the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, stating that 21 persons have so far been killed in the first 14 days of the coronavirus lockdown in Nigeria against the 18 persons that were reported.
Falana said in his letter on Thursday, April 16, 2020, that there were three unreported cases.
NHRC had previously revealed that 18 persons were killed by security operatives in the process of enforcing the order by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The letter titled RE: COVID-19 killings by security forces also revealed that the majority of the killings took place in Kaduna, Katsina, Niger, and Abia states.
“Our attention has been drawn to your report on the 18 people that were brutally killed in Kaduna, Abia, Niger and Katsina states by the armed personnel of the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps deployed by the Federal Government to enforce the COVID-19 Regulations.”
Falana further stated that “we have confirmed the unlawful killing of three other persons after the compilation of your report.
“Specifically, a taxi driver in Cross River State while two other persons were shot dead by the police in Anambra State.
“Thus, you will agree with us that 21 Nigerian citizens have lost their lives in the hands of trigger happy security personnel under the pretext of enforcing the COVID-19 regulations.”
He called the NHRC to use its “good offices to conduct an investigation into the unlawful killing of the 21 persons and ensure that the culprits are prosecuted for murder or culpable homicide.
“Furthermore, we request you to ensure that the bereaved family members of the slain citizens are adequately compensated by the federal government.”
Muhammed Adamu, the inspector-general of Police, had earlier condemned the level of unprofessionalism among his officer, which he described as “apparent unprofessionalism and highhandedness exhibited by the Police officers.”
Adamu through a statement signed by Police public relations of officer, Frank Mba, said: “We are now in extra-ordinary times – a global state of emergency.
“Police officers involved in the enforcement of restriction orders and other law enforcement functions must, therefore, exercise their discretionary powers with the utmost sense of professionalism, compassion, and respect for the citizens.”