October 6, 2022

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Rights group laments extra-judicial killings, torture in Nigeria

A human rights organisation, Centre for Victims of Extra-judicial killings and Torture, Africa, has decried increasing cases of extra-judicial killing in Nigeria by security agencies, warning that the country may descend into a state of anarchy.

Executive Director, CVEKT Africa, Rev. Fr. Anthony Amarube, who gave the warning on Wednesday, while addressing journalists, said as an organisation fighting against Extra-judicial killings and Torture, the CVEKT is alarmed that the more they were trying to tackle one case more cases would be coming up.

Amarube, however, said in spite of the challenges of trying to unravel the cases, they were not giving up but were doing all within their power.  “We keep pursuing the cases within our domain with the available resources at our disposal,” he said.

He described their efforts like “putting a pinch of salt to an ocean,” because the more they were grappling with one case others kept coming up.

He said at present they had six cases of extra-judicial killings and torture they were pursuing in different courts.

“We still try as much as possible to follow cases of extra-judicial killings.  As we speak, we have six cases in court. The situation in the country is that, while we are trying to handle one case, more cases are coming up.

“It is like putting a pinch of salt into a mighty ocean. Several extra-judicial killings have been going on today in Nigeria, some of them are reported, while some others are not made known,” he laments.

The human rights activist also lamented that one of the bottlenecks they faced in following up cases of extra-judicial killings was the chaotic judicial system that would not allow quick dispensation of justice as cases were often adjourned in courts.

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Apart from the slow process of pursuing cases in court, Amarube said they were faced with paucity of funds for research and to go to places where cases of torture and extra-judicial killings occurred.

He pointed out that some of the problems the organisation faced was the unwillingness of some people to divulge information that would enable them pursue such cases, adding that some people were afraid of possible attack should they speak and the perpetrators of the extra-judicial killings may come after them.

“At times people are not willing to give out information. They are afraid to speak up for probably the fear of what the perpetrators of the extra-judicial killings and torture might do to them,” he cried out.

Amarube attributed the growing insecurity in the land today to unemployment occasioned by dearth of industries and factories where youths could be meaningfully engaged.

“Unemployment is one of the reasons that bring about insecurity in the land. Many youths graduate from schools and colleges and there are no jobs for them thereby forcing some of them to take to crimes.

“How many industries and factories are working in Enugu?  This kind of thing fuels insecurity,” he averred.