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Group Condemns Extra Judicial Killing of Shiites Members, Says it’s Barbaric, Senseless

…Calls on Buhari to Obey Court Orders  Release Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky From Unlawful Detention

Group under the auspices of Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) has condemned the extra judicial killing of Shiites members by security forces in Abuja,  describing it as barbaric and senseless.

The CJS which insisted that use of tear gas, pepper or hot water spray would have been sufficient to disperse the protesters, called on President Bahari to as a matter of urgency obey the Court Orders and release Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from unlawful detention.

It made the call on Tuesday in a statement signed by the Lead Director,   Eze Onyekpere, Esq sent to Sundiata Post.

The statement reads in full:

Centre for Social Justice (CSJ), a Nigerian knowledge Institution, notes with regret the extra judicial killing of members of the Shiite Islamic Group by Security Forces in Abuja on Monday 29th October, 2018.

The killings, as reported in the media, was as a result of the group exercising their fundamental rights to peaceful assembly and freedom of movement as provided in sections 40 and 41 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and Article 10, 11 and 12 of the African Charter on Human And Peoples Rights.

We are concerned that Nigeria’s Security Forces have failed to adhere to national and international standards on the use of force and lethal violence in the performance of their duties.

If it is true as alleged by the military high command that the Shiite protesters were violent or disrupted the rights of other Nigerians, dispersing the protesters should not have led to the use of lethal force.

The use of tear gas, pepper or hot water spray would have been sufficient to disperse the protesters. This has been done before by Nigerian Security Forces.

The Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials provides as follows:

“The use of firearms is considered an extreme measure. Every effort should be made to exclude the use of firearms… In general, firearms should not be used except when a suspected offender offers armed resistance or otherwise jeopardizes the lives of others and less extreme measures are not sufficient to restrain or apprehend the suspected offender.”

Also, the use of force is permitted if it is reasonably necessary under the circumstances for the prevention of crime or affecting the lawful arrest of offenders.

Furthermore, force is to be used in accordance with the principle of proportionality. Under no circumstance can lethal force and firing with live ammunition be a response to a protest or blocking the right of way of others.

It is clear that the Nigeria Army has no business in quelling civil protests. It is the duty of the Nigeria Police and the Army can only be invited if the Police is unable to respond appropriately to the violent conduct of protesters.

It should be recalled that the basis of the protest by the Shiite Group is that the Federal Government of Nigeria led by President Mohammadu Buhari has failed, refused and neglected to obey several court judgements ordering the release Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky, the leader of the group.

The killing of protesters is not only barbaric and senseless; it continues the tradition of the current administration’s contempt for the right to life which is the most fundamental of fundamental rights. Nigerians have not forgotten the hundreds killed in earlier incidents between the Army and the Shiite Group.

CSJ therefore calls on President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Attorney General of the Federation to:

• Immediately obey the Court Orders for the release of Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky from unlawful detention.

• Ensure proper documentation of the lives lost in this extra judicial killing and compensation for the families who have suffered loss of lives.

• Give guarantees of non-repetition and apologies to the Nigerian people and the families that have suffered loss in particular.

Eze Onyekpere, Esq
Lead Director


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