Amnesty International has called on foreign countries and international organisations to compel the Nigerian Government to ensure the protection of lives and properties in the country without discrimination.
Osai Ojigho, Country Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, made the call while speaking with the sub-committee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development of the Canadian parliament.
She urged the Canadian Government to engage with the Nigerian Government to put a mechanism in place to protect the people, stating that the Nigerian authorities had failed to protect the lives of people especially those speaking in support of human rights in the country.
She said, “Nigeria needs to be reminded of their international obligation to protect everyone within their territory without discrimination.
“There is a breakdown of law and order. If this is not happening, it might end up leading to some serious complaints before the Security Council at the United Nations and even some of the special mechanisms to act and question what is going on in the country.”
Ojigho told the Canadian parliament that despite adopting the Torture Act in 2017, no officer had been convicted of torture despite it being pervasive by the security agent.
She decried that the Nigerian Government emboldened police officers and thugs to attack protesters while the #ENDSARS demonstration lasted.
She said AI recorded not less than 56 persons killed by state and non-state actors during the #ENDSARS protest.
Ojigho said, “They were other shootings in Lagos in other communities that day leaving at least 12 people dead in Lagos.
“AI noted that at least 56 people have died across the country since the protest began up till 20th of October.
“In many cases where the security forces intervened, they had used extensive force in an attempt to control or stop the protest. There is evidence that thugs were not stopped
“There have been several panels set up by the government to resolve this issue, yet they have never followed up the recommendations.”
The AI Country Director also informed the parliament that there had been threats against human rights groups and activists, revealing that AI was threatened by an unknown group suspected to be sponsored by the Nigerian military.
“They have given AI seven days to leave the country otherwise they are going to inflict violence and arson on us and on our premises.
“The atmosphere of fear is distracting and prevents many human rights from demanding accountability, it also puts rights advocates at risk of being attacked by non-state actors,” Ojigho added.