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NHRC condemns killing of 16 soldiers

THE National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has condemned in strong terms the killing of 16 soldiers (officers and men) and some civilians on Thursday, March 14, 2024.

The killings were allegedly carried out by youths from Okuama community in Ugheli South local government area of Delta State while soldiers were on a peace mission to the community.


The Commission, in a statement on Monday, rejected the practice whereby “aggrieved individuals and groups take laws into their hands attacking and killing law enforcement agents,” insisting that “such behaviours occasion human rights violations and distrust.”

It said: “To this extent, it specifically amounts to violations of the right to life and dignity of human person as guaranteed under Article 3 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), Article 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Article 4 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR), and other international instruments to which Nigeria is a signatory. Furthermore, everyone is entitled to life and security of their person under section 33 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria (as amended).”

NHRC said: “These senseless killings of security agents which has been going on in several parts of the country are not acceptable. Citizens must engage and collaborate with the Law Enforcement Agents (LEAs), by providing them with the necessary information that will assist them in fishing out those behind these heinous and dastardly acts and ensure that they are prosecuted and punished in accordance with the law.”

The Executive Secretary of the Commission, Dr. Tony Ojukwu in the signed statement, urged authorities to put necessary mechanisms in place to arrest everyone allegedly involved in the gruesome murders.

“This is aimed to bring all perpetrators to justice and prevent reccurrence.”

He said: “We are keenly monitoring the situation and official investigation in this case to ensure that those who are behind this inhumane and wicked act are quickly arrested, prosecuted and punished in accordance with the relevant international, regional and municipal laws.”

The Commission urged everyone, including the affected community and the Nigerian Armed Forces to sheathe their sword and refrain from any form of reprisals while awaiting for the outcome of the investigation.

“This is to avoid escalation of the crises that could worsen tension and human rights violations,,” it said.

The Commission expressed condolences to the Chief of Defence Staff, Chief of Army Staff, the Nigerian military, and the families of the slain soldiers and urged everyone to remain calm and trust that justice would be served accordingly.

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