By Our Reporter
The Coalition of Public Interest Lawyers and Advocates (COPA) has called on the international community to intervene on the increased human rights abuses across the country by agents of state.
The Coalition made the call during a press conference on Tuesday in Abuja
Barrister Pelumi Olajengbesi a member of the Coalition, decried the rise in incidences of human rights abuse by agents of state in the past few months.
“Over the last few months, incidences of human rights abuses by agents of state such as the Police Force, the Nigerian Army, the state security service, etc, have been on alarming increase as there appears to be an institutionalization of the culture of impunity in human right violations by agents of state such that the body of laws in place to criminalize crime appear to upheld more in breach than in observerance.
“In the course of our duty as human rights lawyers, we have taken cognizance of a number of sordid cases of the violation of fundamental human rights by agents of state across Nigeria in recent times.
“These include, but are not limited to unlawful arrests and detention, brutalization, baterring and even outright killing of citizens on sketchy and flimsy allegations, and even in circumstances where citizens are going about exercising their conditional rights moreso for little or no provocation whatsoever,” he said.
He cited some cases of human rights abuse which include,the illegal arrest, detention, extortion, and torture of Victor Ogbonna, Osaze Friday, Ifeanyi Osuji and Ifeanyi Onyekwere and Chima Ikwunado.
Others are the arrest, detention, and degrading treatment of ‘Revolution Now’ protesters across the country.
Also, the killing of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Enugu, among others.
“Only recently, we have learnt of the killing of innocent Nigerians in the Southern part of the country on the 23rd of August 2020 by operatives of the State Security Service.
“What is particularly worrisome is that personnel of the State Security Service are alleged to have opened fire on a crowd of unarmed people in Enugu state for reasons we are yet to comprehend killing over 21 persons.
“It is not the point that these human rights violations only became apparent of recent, but what is the point Is that the these issues have enjoyed a steady upward traction without any hope in sight as there seems to be yacit support for these acts by the very institutions of state that ought to call these errant agents to account,” he explained.
According to him, what is much more disheartening is that these agents of states have arogated to themselves the toga of untouchable s flouting court orders as if they were above the law.
“This leaves us with a society where the institutions appears to be no longer able to protect the weakest of us from itself, the question then becomes what happens to the rest of us.
“We therefore urge the international community to come the aid of Nigeria and Nigerians by making bold and assertive statements against this hydra-headed reality, at least for the sake of our collective humanity and our place in history,” he stressed.