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Policeman kills motorcyclist allegedly for not wearing face mask

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A policeman Friday killed a motorcyclist in Imo State allegedly for not wearing a face mask as directed by the Nigerian Government to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Imo State police spokesman Godson Orlando while confirming the “unethical and unprofessional infraction” said the officer responsible for the shooting has been arrested and taken into custody.

Orlando, however, did not give the name of the trigger-happy officer.

He said the killing which has led to unrest around the metropolis led to the macheting of one Sargent Awusu Henry by angry youths.

“Young pple (sic) in the neighbourhood took umbrage. Some unrest has bn ongoing in & around Orlu since today,” Chidi Odinkalu, a former boss of Nigerian Human Rights Commission said.

Nigerian security forces have been in the past months accused of using excessive lethal force by United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings.

As at April, at least 18 people in Nigeria were killed by security forces during the enforcement of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, Nigerian Human Rights Commission said.

In a report released April, the NHRC said it had received and documented “105 complaints of incidents of human rights violations perpetrated by security forces” in 24 of Nigeria’s 36 states and Abuja, the capital.

The NHRC said in a statement dated April 15 that there had been “eight documented incidents of extrajudicial killings leading to 18 deaths” between March 30 and April 13.

As at when the NHRC report was released Nigeria only had 400 confirmed cases, including 12 deaths which means the number of deaths caused by the security operatives during the same time was higher than the recorded toll from COVID-19.

“Law enforcement agents extrajudicially executed 18 persons in the cause of the enforcement regulations,” executive secretary of NHRC Tony Ojukwu said in a statement in May.

Ojukwu accused the security agents of “excessive or disproportionate use of force, abuse of power, corruption and non-adherence to national and international laws, best practices and rules of engagement.”

Police spokesman Frank Mba told the AFP news agency that police authorities would not condone any abuses or infractions against its officers, adding that recently an officer who extorted money from a civilian was punished and made to refund it to the owner.

He said the police would continue to enforce the lockdown measures professionally and in line with international best practices.


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