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News > Nigeria

Nigeria: Police Brutality Is More Lethal Than COVID-19

  • Police officer monitors quarantine compliance, Nigeria, April, 2020.

    Police officer monitors quarantine compliance, Nigeria, April, 2020. | Photo: Twitter/@teleSURtv

Published 17 April 2020

Over 100 serious human rights violations have been registered between March 30 and April 13.

Nigeria's National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) denounced that the victims of police brutality outnumber those killed by COVID-19 on its territory as the Nigerian police are suspected of having carried out 18 extra-judicial killings between March 30 and April 13.


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"While the new coronavirus has killed eleven patients, security forces have extrajudicially executed 18 people to enforce orders," the NHRC head Tony Ojukwu said and added that his organization received 105 complaints about human rights violations in his country.

Cases of police abuse have been recorded in 24 out of 36 Nigerian states, including Lagos, Ogun, Abuja, where physical isolation measures were extended for another two weeks.

According to members of the security forces, problems with citizens arose because people violated quarantine. However, the NRHC explained that many Nigerians cannot stay at home because they have to go out to work to get their daily livelihood.​​​​​

That institution also pointed out that mobility restrictions allow human rights violators to continue in impunity because there are no witnesses to accuse them. Furthermore, witnesses do not testify for fear of police retaliation.

"If you are a victim of human rights abuse or you are a witness to human rights violations, reach out to us," Ojukwu said and encouraged people to denounce violent events.

As of Friday morning, Nigeria has reported 442 COVID-19 cases and 13 deaths.​​​​​​​


Tony Ojukwu
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