from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) –CIVIL society organisations in Nigeria fear the army could commit extrajudicial killings after President Muhammamadu Buhari ordered the military to “eliminate” bandits.
An extrajudicial killing is carried out without judicial proceeding or legal process.
Buhari gave the order this week and pledged his administration would equip the army so that it would eradicate bandits that are wreaking havoc in the volatile country.
“I don’t want any bandit spared,” Buhari declared.
Some 46 civil society organisations (CSOs) have jointly condemned the order and written to the president to retract.
“This strongly suggests extra-judicial elimination of suspects,” the organisations stated.
This is not the first time Buharihas ordered what human rights groups argue is tantamount to mobilizing state security to carry out extrajudicial killing of suspects.
Ahead of general elections Nigeria held at the beginning of this year, Buhari ordered the police and army to shoot ballot snatchers.
Human rights groups argued this resulted in the state security forces perpetrating violence during the disputed poll.
Buhari, who was elected in 2015 and re-elected this year, is a disciplinarian figure.
He was a military president between 1983 and 1985.
During that tenure, he initiated the so-called War Against Indiscipline.
Civil servants pitching up late for work were forced to do frog jumps while students caught cheating in exams risked a minimum 21 years in jail. Counterfeiting carried a death sentence.
– CAJ News