A Group, People’s Alternative Fronts, has said that against the 21 lives proclaimed by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, Coronavirus has in fact killed 43 persons in the country.
The group in a statement by its secretary, Eze Alloysius, said that apart from the 21 that have been directly killed by Coronavirus, 22 others have lost their lives at the hands of security operatives enforcing movement of restriction to curb the spread of the virus in Nigeria.
The statement reads, “From the report of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control released on April 19, 2020, Coronavirus has claimed 21 lives in Nigeria.
“At about the same time, security forces have unleashed brutal physical assault on the people for allegedly violating the provisions of the COVID-19 Regulations made by President Muhammadu Buhari and the state governors.
“In the process, security forces resorted to jungle justice by engaging in the cold blooded murder of 22 unarmed citizens. Up until now, the authorities have not deemed it fit to condemn the unlawful killings of the 22 citizens or condole the bereaved family members.
According to the report published by the National Human Rights Commission last week, the security forces have killed 18 people in six states namely: Kaduna-12, Abia-2, Niger-1, Delta-1, Ebonyi-1 and Katsina-1.
“In addition to the 18 people captured in the report of the National Human Rights Commission, we have confirmed that the security forces were also involved in the brutal killing of 4 other people in 3 states namely: Anambra-2, Delta-1 and Cross River-1.
“The armed security personnel who murdered the 22 citizens are drawn from the Nigerian Army, Nigeria Police Force, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps and Nigeria Correctional Service.
“In spite of the official assurance that the unlawful killings will not be swept under the carpet, the murder suspects have not been charged before any court in the country.
“Meanwhile, hundreds of people are being charged, tried and convicted for violating the COVID-19 regulations in the Federal Capital Territory and in all states of the federation.
“Since culpable homicide or murder is a state offence, we are compelled to call on the Attorneys-General of the respective states where the killings occurred to demand the case files from the police with a view to filing charges against the murder suspects in the appropriate courts without any further delay.”
The group called on relevant branches of the Nigerian Bar Association to monitor the prosecution of all the culprits.
It added, “On our own part, we are briefing human rights lawyers to file suits in the high courts and claim monetary damages for the bereaved families of the 22 people whose precious lives have been illegally terminated by the security forces.”