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Increased extrajudicial killings in Nigeria decried

Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), a human rights group, on Friday decried the rising cases of extrajudicial killings in Nigeria.Mr Adetokunbo Mumuni, Executive Director, SERAP, warned that the situation is alarming and is capable of scuttling democracy.

Reacting to the recent killing of over 185 people in Baga village, Borno in northeast Nigeria, Mumuni said in Lagos on Friday that the victims, including some civilians, lost their lives during a clash between the Joint Task Force (JTF) and some members of the Boko Haram sect.

“While it is true that we must fight terrorism in whatever form, that should not deny the fact that any suspected criminal should first of all be arrested, charged to court and let the due process takes its course.

“In this land, no matter the circumstances, the rule of law must take hold first. It is under the rule of law that every other thing can take shape,” he said.

The human rights activist, who condemned the Baga killing, urged Nigerian security operatives to focus more on how to apprehend terror suspects without necessarily killing them.

Mumuni said: “When you are able to arrest a suspected terrorist, you have the opportunity to interrogate him and gather more information from him.

“But when you say this person is Boko Haram and kill him just like that, you lose that benefit of having information that you could have used to locate the group or thwart future attacks.”

He said the federal government should take it upon itself to restore some sanity in the community by probing the Baga incident in addition to other extra-judicial killings allegedly perpetrated by security operatives in Nigeria.

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