Rights body urges UN to help halt executions in Southern Kaduna
SOCIO-ECONOMIC Rights and Accountability Project (Serap) has petitioned UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard on what it terms extra-judicial, summary or arbitrary executions in Southern Kaduna in north-central Nigeria.
According to a report, the group is urging the UN body to “prevail on the Nigerian authorities to halt further killings of innocent citizens” and calling for urgent investigation into recent allegations of killings of over 800 citizens in that part of the country by suspected herdsmen, and to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
Serap director Adetokunbo Mumuni is quoted as requesting Callamard to visit Nigeria to conduct a fact-finding mission into the circumstances surrounding the killings.
In the petition dated December 30 2016 and signed by Mumuni, Serap expressed “concern that the killings of citizens in Southern Kaduna of Nigeria amount to serious violations of the rights to life; to security of the human person; to the respect of the dignity inherent in a human being; and right to property guaranteed by not only the Nigerian constitution but also the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights to which Nigeria is a state party”.
The petition reads in part: “Serap contends that Nigerian authorities have failed and/or neglected to respect these human rights and to exercise due diligence to ensure that these rights are not violated by private individuals such as herdsmen and other unknown perpetrators. The Nigerian government should therefore be held to account for failing or neglecting to guarantee and protect the rights of the people in Southern Kaduna, regardless of whether such violations are directly or indirectly attributable to the state or its officials.
“Serap is concerned that the Nigerian government has failed and/ or neglected to create an environment in Southern Kaduna to end the unlawful killings by failing to move its legal and institutional machinery towards the actual realisation of these rights.
“It is in fact the failure by the government to take adequate measures to prevent the violence which has contributed to the increasing number of victims.
“Serap believes the killings wouldn’t have taken place if Nigerian authorities had taken measures to prevent them happening.”