Amnesty International has accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government of using security operatives to carry out extrajudicial killings in the country, particularly in the South-East.
Naija News reports that the global human rights organisation made the assertion while reacting to the recent killing of at least seven persons in Imo State.
It was reported earlier that some citizens were returning to Otulu, their community, from a wedding in Awo-Omamma on Sunday when they were ambushed and killed by gunmen suspected to be members of the South-East Ebubeagu security outfit.
The incident generated a series of reactions from several groups who condemned the unprovoked massacre.
Although the State Governor, Hope Uzodinma while briefing journalists on Tuesday, debunked the report that wedding guests were killed in the state.
He said the killings were carried out by the Nigerian secret police, Department of State Services (DSS) and not Ebubeagu as claimed in reports.
Reacting, however, AI in a statement signed and released on Tuesday by its spokesperson, Isa Sanusi lampooned the Nigerian government for attributing the killings to members of the Indigenous People of Biafra rather than carrying out proper investigations.
It added that it has documented several cases of extrajudicial executions by law enforcement officers and members of the Ebubeagu security outfit while responding to the violence in the South-East.
“It is horrifying that unarmed young men who clearly posed no threat to anyone were gunned down, in utter disdain for the right to life. Such killings cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever.
“Nigerian authorities must end these unlawful killings. Authorities must promptly, thoroughly, and transparently investigate the killings and bring to justice, in fair trials, anyone suspected of criminal responsibility.
“Authorities must also ensure access to justice and effective remedies for victims and their families.
“At least seven friends including two siblings were allegedly extrajudicially executed by members of the Ebubeagu state security outfit at Awo-Omamma community in Oru East Local Government of Imo State on 17 July 2022.
“Instead of launching proper investigations into these killings, security and government officials are often quick to claim victims of extrajudicial executions were caught up in shoot-outs or simply label them members of the Eastern Security Network, the armed wing of the Indigenous People of Biafra or unknown gunmen,” SaharaReporters quoted the Director, Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho as saying.
AI maintained that International law requires the Nigerian government to promptly investigate unlawful killings with a view to bringing perpetrators to justice.