Nigerian soldiers allegedly flogged an elderly woman, a food seller, to death recently in Nasarawa state, North-Central Nigeria, for allegedly violating the lockdown order in the state, according to a report by a non-government organisation.
Additional information provided on Sunday evening to PREMIUM TIMES by the spokesperson of CLEEN Foundation, Anna White-Agbo, has it that the incident happened in the morning of May 11 in Tammah area of Nasarawa Local Government Area, Nasarawa State.
The soldiers were reportedly going around the area, flogging and chasing away traders who had come out to sell their goods.
The food seller was said to have stood back, instead of running away with others. She was said to have told the officers that her family would die of hunger if she did not come out to sell, which prompted the officers to flog her continuously until “she dropped dead”.
The incident is said to have been reported to the police in Nasarawa State.
The police spokesperson in the state, Ramhan Nansel, however, told PREMIUM TIMES, Sunday evening, that he was not aware of the incident.
The food seller, according to the report by CLEEN, was among the 36 people unlawfully killed by Nigerian security officials since the restriction of movement was introduced nationwide to halt the spread of the novel coronavirus in Nigeria.
Army spokesperson, Sagir Musa, did not respond to text message and phone calls seeking comment on the report.
“On 20th May 2020, one Fatai Oladipupo was killed by stray bullet along Obabiyi, Igando Road, Ikotun, Lagos by some police officers attached to the Ikotun police station who were attempting to enforce the 8:00 p.m. curfew in the area,” the report said.
“In Anambra State, the partial compliance of citizens to the imposed directive led to the death of a young man who was shot by the Police for flouting the curfew order. The incident happened at Enugwu-Ukwu in Njikoka LGA of Anambra State on Wednesday, May 20, 2020.
“Our observer from Ngor Okpala LGA in Imo State reported an incidence of extra judicial killings by Security Personnel,” the report added.
Other organisations in Nigeria, including the National Human Rights Commission, have raised concerns over extra-judicial killing of citizens and other human rights violations by the nation’s security officials during the lockdown.
The House of Representatives, in May, directed security agencies in Nigeria to bring to justice the officials who were involved in the killing and other abuses.
The report by CLEEN, signed by its Executive Director, Benson Olugbuo, also tracked citizen’s compliance with government directives regarding the lockdown, the use of face mask, social distancing, ban on public gathering, and the ban on inter-state travel.
According to the report, there was partial compliance with the government’s directives.
Nigerians were travelling across various states in the country in violation of the ban on interstate travel, and despite the presence of security officials on the nation’s highways.
The report said the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, ordered the prosecution of 14 persons who ferried cattle from Adamawa State to Rivers State.
Mr Wike is said to have also ordered the auction of the cattle and the two trucks that conveyed them.
The report said the Rivers government “in a bid to curtail inter-state movement constructed a giant iron gate between the two ends of the road to block vehicular movement between Rivers and Abia State”.
The report quoted the COVID-19 taskforce in Imo State as saying that 96 passengers travelling from Abia State were intercepted and tested for COVID-19 before they were allowed to continue on their journey, and that when the test result came out later, 25 of them tested positive.
“In Bayelsa State, our volunteers observed that a political rally was held in Toro-orua community in Sagbama LGA with over 300 persons in attendance.
“Furthermore, in Obunagha and Agbura town in Yenagoa LGA of the State, burial ceremonies were held with large crowd exceeding 50 persons thereby violating government directive on physical distancing,” the report said.
“In the North Central, football competitions were reported to have taken place within Jos North, Qua’n Pan, Kanke LGA of Plateau State and Karu LGA of Nasarawa State.
“Our observers have reported that burial and marriage ceremonies were held in many communities, while religious activities also held in the rural and suburban places like Kwande, Agatu, Okpokwu, Ogbadibo, Vandeikya and Guma LGAs of Benue State despite the State government’s decision to reverse its lift on the ban on religious activities.
“Various social gatherings were reported around the FCT, in Mpape under Bwari Area Council and Nyanya under AMAC Area Council,” the report said.
The report was produced from data collated from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria’s 37 states, including Abuja.
CLEEN, in its recommendations, appealed to various state governments to properly access the COVID-19 situation in their states “with regards to the proprietary or otherwise on the lifting of the ban on public gatherings”.
The number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Nigeria was 12,233 as of June 6. The number of COVID-19 deaths is 342 so far, while 3826 COVID-19 patients have been treated and discharged from hospitals.
Lagos remains the epicentre of the coronavirus in Nigeria, with the highest number of cases – 5729, followed by Kano’s 997.
Abuja occupies the third position with 912 cases. Edo and Katsina states, having the same number of cases – 387 – jointly occupy the fourth position.
Oyo State is fifth on the table, with 365 cases.