UN urges Nigeria to take actions to curb violence

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The UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary killings, Agnes Callamard, on Monday highlighted the need for the Nigerian authorities to take urgent actions to end violence.

Nigeria needs urgent action to end the pressure cooker of violence which is ending thousands of lives,” she said.

The country has been rocked with deaths of its citizens in recent months mainly through rising crime, communal clashes and insurgency.

The official said Nigeria’s inability to tackle issues such “as internal conflict and patterns of lack of accountability” will allow these spread throughout the sub-region, due to the nation’s important role on the continent.

She disclosed her current findings based on her investigation of arbitrary killings in Nigeria “are not too different from that of her predecessor, Philip Alston who wrote his in 2006.”

“In 15 years, far more progresses should have taken place for a country such as Nigeria, which is a middle income country,” she said.

She added that many of her predecessor’s findings are still very relevant.

She said Mr Alston reported that Nigeria (in 2006) had problems with (police) investigation, coroner’s inquiries, prosecution, judiciary and detention.

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Ms Callamard highlighted the need for accountability, forensic and scientific inquiries in Nigerian institutions.

She cited the killings of a Deputy Police Commissioner and a journalist during one of the IMN processions that took place in July in Abuja.

She said although there is an assumption the IMN could have been responsible for their deaths, “this assumption did not meet international investigation standards”.

She said, “there is no demonstration of that conclusion, which is very problematic, it is not meeting international standards in what an investigation should be like.”

Accountability according to her “means involvement of the victims, truth telling, creating a safe space where victims can share and talk about what happened to them.”

“It is not a closed process where the only actors are the alleged perpetrators and the state.”

She urged the government to invest in the rule of law and to “make it part and parcel of Nigeria’s success story”.

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