Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) has vehemently condemned the recent extrajudicial killing of a Nigerian citizen by an official of the Nigerian Customs Service, calling for a proper probe into the matter in the interest of justice.
Malachy Ugwummadu, National President of CDHR, in a statement made available to newsmen on Thursday, said from all accounts, the unfortunate incident arose from the alleged refusal of the victim to part with a paltry N5, 000 bribe or gratification.
“In the video evidence available, gunshots were heard with the footage of the victim lying on the road in a pool of his blood.
“Extra judicial killings are grave human rights violations under our laws where a citizens are illegally deprived of their rights to life against the express provision of Section 33 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (As Amended).
“These incidents often involve police officers, military and paramilitary personnel who readily disown and describe their victims as a criminal caught in their nefarious acts.”
Adding, “In many other cases, the incident is hastily described as cases of accidental discharge as alluded to in the press statement released by the Nigerian Customs Service on this matter. Such accusations are, in no way, sufficient reasons to deprive a Nigerian of his or her right to life without strict adherence to the rule of law.”
The statement further stated that the only time when a person could be legally deprived of his right to life is in execution of a sentence validly passed by a court of law.
He added that “this violent breach of the right to life of the deceased was neither in their efforts to suppress any insurrection or riot, nor in defence of any person from unlawful violence or for the defence of property which are the only known exceptions to the constitutionally guaranteed right to life.”