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COVID-19: Rights Commission warns security agencies against violation of rights

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has appealed to law enforcement agencies in the country against violation of the rights of Nigerians in carrying in out their duties during the COVID-19 lockdown.

In a statement by its Executive Secretary, Ernest Ojukwu Esq, the commission cautioned that measures put in place by the federal government directed at public safety should not be abused by those charged with enforcing same.

“No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war, a threat of war, international political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture,” he said.

The statement further reads: “any act of torture, cruel inhuman and other degrading treatments should not be employed in enforcing compliance.

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“Any arrest connected to implementation of the COVID-19 lockdown directives must be treated in accordance with national and international best practices.

“The Commission is conscious of the provisions of the Quarantine Act of 1929 as well as the provisions of Section 14(2) and 45 of the 1999 Constitution as amended.

“The NHRC however calls on the National Assembly and the Executive Arm of government to take immediate measures to operationalise the state of emergency provisions of Section 45 of the 1999 Constitution in the interest of public health and safety.”

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