Amnesty International (AI), human rights organisation, has alleged that soldiers killed some members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in Umuahia, Abia state capital on September 14.
According to a report released by the organisation, the military said those killed attempted to resist the arrest of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the group.
Kanu made his last public appearance on September 14, 2017. The Biafra group has asked the military to produce their leader, saying it is possible that he was killed by soldiers.
“The military claimed that they were killed when they tried to resist the arrest of leader Nnamdi Kanu at his home. Witnesses say that, in addition to those killed, at least 10 IPOB members were shot and taken away by soldiers,” the report said.
The human rights group said security forces have continued to commit “gross” human rights violations in the fight against Boko Haram insurgency and in other cases.
AI said the abuses usually come in the form of extrajudicial killings and arbitrary arrests.
“In response to threats by the armed group Boko Haram and its ongoing commission of war crimes, security forces in Nigeria continued to commit gross human rights violations and crimes under international law,” AI said.
“These included extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances, arbitrary arrests, incommunicado detentions, torture and other ill-treatment, which, in some cases, led to deaths in custody.
The report said the military has arbitrarily arrested and held “thousands” of young men, women and children in detention centres across the country.
“Detainees were denied access to lawyers and family members. The army released 593 detainees in April and 760 in October. By April, the military detention facility at Giwa barracks, Maiduguri, held more than 4,900 people in extremely over-crowded cells.
“Disease, dehydration and starvation were rife and at least 340 detainees died.
“At least, 200 children, as young as four, were detained in the overcrowded and unhygienic children’s cell. Some children were born in detention.”
The organisation also said there were cases of forced eviction of thousands in Lagos, Imo and Rivers states “without adequate notice, compensation, or the provision of alternative accommodation and resettlement.
“In Lagos state, at least 5,000 people were forcibly evicted from Otodo-Gbame and Ilubirin waterfront communities between March and April, in violation of previous Lagos state high court orders.
“On 15 June, Rivers state authorities forcibly evicted hundreds of people from Ayagologo waterfront community in Port Harcourt”.
AI further said human rights defenders have “continued to face intimidation for their work”, citing the non-governmental organisations (NGO) regulatory bill as an example.
It said there have also been attempts to clamp down on freedom of expression in the last one year, where journalists were “harassed, intimidated and arrested for unjustified reasons”.
AI said the freedom of assembly and association of citizens have also been tampered with as security forces “disrupted, in some cases violently and with excessive force, peaceful protests and assemblies.
“The police continued to deny Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), which was banned by the Kaduna state government in 2016, the right to peaceful protest.
“On 25 January, the Abuja police arrested nine IMN members in connection with a peaceful protest demanding the release of Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.”