Heavy Handed Nigerian Security Forces In 2019 General Elections – House of Representatives

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In a motion moved by Chinda on Thursday, the House of Representatives unanimously decried the killings that took place during the 2019 general elections and commenced investigations into the killing of Dr Ferry Gberegbe, a Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic Lecturer, and others in Rivers state.

In the motion, Chinda noted that during the elections, which was conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) there was the unnecessary presence of heavily armed men of security agencies, including the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and Nigerian Army in Rivers and across the country which led to clear cases of harassment and intimidation of voters and electoral officers, coupled with sporadic shootings by the security personnel aimed at instilling fear in the people which in some cases led to loss of lives. Chinda said it was disheartening that the government whose duty it was to protect lives and property of citizens as enshrined in the constitution, turned out to be the one who through her unnecessary show of force used such security agents who have no business being within the vicinity of electoral processes to killing the innocent, unarmed civilian voters.

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”The House notes that during the said elections, there were reports and viral video clips of cases of intimidation, harassment, torture, and shooting to death of innocent, unarmed civilian voters.

”These were done by men of FSARS and the Nigerian Army in several parts of Rivers, including Bori, Abonnema in Akuku Toru, Bonny, Emohua, Ikwerre and Okrika Local Government Areas.

”The House is aware that government owes its citizens the duty of protecting and securing their lives as enshrined in SS. 14(2)(b) and 34(1)(a) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.

”The House is also aware that on or about March 9 at the Khana Local Government Area Collation Centre, Dr Ferry Gberegbe, a lecturer with the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori in Rivers, was shot in his lower abdomen by men of the FSARS led by ACP Akin Fakorede and he died a few days later from the gunshot wound.

”Also, at Degema, one Mrs. Ibisaki Amachree was shot dead by men of the Nigerian Army.

Chinda, described the killings in Rivers as

”one too many in cases of extra-judicial killings across the country.”

He said the killings were not only callous and inhuman, but had reduced the image and reputation of the Nigerian army before the rest of the world and compromised the national security.

The speaker of the House, Dogara, therefore, mandated the House Committees on Army, Human Rights, Justice as well as Police Affairs to investigate the matter urging them to report back to the House within two weeks for further legislative action.

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