On a breezy morning in March 2019, Ogar Jumbo, an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), was driving his two kids to school when he was reportedly beaten to death by officers of the Nigeria police force in Nyanya, a suburb of Abuja.
Jumbo, who was also with his wife, was said to have violated traffic rules. An argument ensued and the police officers pounced on him, according to witnesses who said his wife and two children — aged five and eight — cried and watched helplessly until the man drew his last breath.
More than a year down the line, justice has not been served for the deceased, according to findings by TheCable. Desmond Jumbo, his elder brother, told TheCable the police never contacted the family after the incident.
Unfortunately, there are many more Nigerians that have gone the way of the late NSCDC officer.
After reviewing media reports and data from the Council on Foreign Relations, TheCable found out that 91 other Nigerians have been killed by the police in the past one year.
TheCable’s study, which also reviewed statements from various groups and affected persons, covered the period of March 2019, to February 2020, and so, did not extend to the COVID-19 lockdown characterised by high rate of human rights abuses.
The study did not cover crime suspects or those who died in police custody, neither did it touch on those allegedly killed by other security agencies such as the Nigerian Customs Service of which officers reportedly killed four residents of Oyo state on March 10, 2020.
Quick points from the study:
Police officers allegedly killed Nigerians on 51 occasions in past one year
Killings were recorded in every month under the period reviewed
There were no reports of killings by police in only 15 states
Lagos had the highest occurrences and highest number of reported deaths
July and September had highest number of reported killings: 19
‘REFUSAL TO GIVE BRIBE, ARGUMENT, ACCIDENTAL DISCHARGE’ TOP REASONS
The data shows the sad trend of extrajudicial killings, most of which were reported to have happened during protests, and many of which were unprovoked.