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“It is the worst form of criminality and human rights violation”

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), on Thursday, condemned the killing of a pregnant woman, Harira Jubril, and her four children in Anambra State.

They were killed by gunmen suspected to be members of the Eastern Security Network, an armed separatist group blamed for most of the fatal violence in the South-east region of Nigeria.

The Commission’s Executive Secretary of the NHRC, Tony Ojukwu, reacted to the killing in a Wednesday press statement, saying, “it is the worst form of criminality and human rights violation.”

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Ojukwu said Nigeria has been plagued by terrible reports of murders, kidnappings, armed banditry, and rape, among other crimes.

These abuses, he said, “happen on a daily basis as if the culprits no longer had a human conscience or feelings.”

He called the killings a ‘gross violation’ of people’s rights to life and dignity, which are guaranteed by the Nigerian Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, and other national and international human rights instruments that Nigeria has enacted or is a signatory to.

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“These senseless killings are not acceptable and we as a Commission condemn it and urge that citizens must engage and collaborate with the law enforcement agents, by providing them with the necessary information that will assist them to fish out those behind these heinous and dastardly acts and ensure that they are prosecuted and possibly punished in accordance with the law,” he said.

Ojukwu also called on the police to conduct a thorough inquiry into the killings of Harira and her children as soon as possible in order to bring all parties implicated to justice.

He said, “The law enforcement agencies, particularly the police and DSS should rejig their strategies and deploy intelligence-led security to get to the root of this instant killing and lots of other killings, such as Deborah Samuel’s among others.”

He warned Nigerians against intolerance.

“We must first of all be alive peacefully as citizens before we agitate for one interest or another, and always bear in mind that setting the country on the path of violence and disunity will rather worsen or complicate our problems,” he said.

Mr Ojukwu offered the commission’s sympathies to the victims’ families and advised them and their community members to be calm and not take the law into their hands.

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