Falana writes IGP, demands reports of investigations into large-scale killings

Femi Falana, human rights lawyer, has written a letter to Ibrahim Idris, inspector-general of police (IGP), requesting reports of probes into various large-scale killings.

In a letter dated February 14, the lawyer demanded the reports on killings which occurred from 2011 to 2017.

He said the demand was necessitated by the failure to prosecute armed gangs that have engaged in the “mindless” killings of thousands of Nigerians.

The lawyer said the situation has made the murder of unarmed citizens in the country to continue unabated.

The letter, sent to TheCable on Wednesday, read: “Based on pressures from the human rights community, the office of the attorney-general of the federation has commenced the prosecution of the terror suspects who were arrested from 2011-2017 by the security forces.

“But to our utter dismay, the other armed gangs that have engaged in the mindless killing of thousands of Nigerian people, including children, have not been prosecuted by the respective state governments. Hence, the cold murder of unarmed citizens has continued unabated.

“In order to end the official impunity and facilitate the trial of the criminal suspects involved in the illegal killings, I hereby request for the certified true copies of the reports of investigation into the large-scale killings which took place in several states of the federation from 2011 to date.”

Falana listed some of the killings — which are in the nature of crimes against humanity — to include: the killing of 60 security officers in 2013 by a cult group in Nasarrawa state; the killing of over 2,000 people in Benue state by herdsmen, militia groups and other armed gangs; the killing of 800 people in Mambilia, Taraba state by a militia group in September 2017.

Others are the killing of 204 people by gunmen in southern Kaduna in 2016; the killing of 347 people “by the Nigerian army” in Zaria, Kaduna state, in 2015; the killing of 150 pro-Biafra agitators by security forces in the south-east, the alleged killing of over 2,000 people by milita groups in Zamfara state from 2011 to 2018, among others.

He added that in compliance with the freedom of information sct, 2011, the IGP is required to provide the requested reports within seven days of the receipt of the letter.

“However, if you fail or refuse to accede to this request, we shall proceed to institute mandamus proceedings, compelling you to furnish us with the needed information,” he said.

SOURCE: The Cable