LAWYERS ALERT AND EXTRA JUDICIAL KILLINGS IN NIGERIA
In its simplest form, Extra-Judicial killing connote executions outside the parameters of judicial procedure. Any killing outside of judicial pronouncement of the killing is deemed to be summary execution.
The act of extra-judicial killing is about the highest human rights violations, as the victim(s) is/are denied the right to fair hearing, defense and life.
In it report to mark the 63rd anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights day recently, the international Society for Civil Liberties and Rule of Law Nigeria released a report in which it stated that “over 54,000 Nigerians have died in extra-judicial killings since 1999. Some of these include extra-judicial killings by security forces, summary executions, vigilante killings, and abductions by militant groups’
Of the 54,000 estimated deaths, the Nigeria Police Force is estimated to have executed over 15,000 Nigerians in extra-judicial killings between 1999 and 2009 that is an average of 1,500 deaths per annum or 5 deaths per day, across police formations in Nigeria. Most of these deaths in police formation according to human rights groups are carried out by the deadly Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) found in all the police State headquarters across the country.
Lawyers Alert have often sought redress for the victims and/or their families where we can or when these complaints are made to us.
In Benue and Nassarawa States and North Central Nigeria Lawyers Alert is presently in Court over 2 of such executions by men of the Nigeria Police. The two cases are that of Bem Akaaza and Peter Ityukembe (both deceased).
Bem Akaaza wrongfully died in the custody of the Nigerian Police Force in 2006. He was arrested in lieu of his Brother who was wanted by the police. Bem died under mysterious and questionable circumstances which inform the litigation.
Peter Ityukembe was shot and killed by a cop who was his co-suitor in contention for a hand of a lady in marriage. Peter was tag a criminal by the police officers who carried out this act.
These matters have been heard and reserved for judgments within the month of June 2012. The full text of the judgments will be uploaded here as delivered by the Federal High Courts in Abuja and Makurdi respectively.