International human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI) has accused the Nigerian government over the incessant disappearance of citizens.
The body also called on the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to stop the enforced disappearance of defenceless citizens across the country.
In a statement on Tuesday, AI revealed that many Nigerians whose whereabouts are unknown to their families are critics of the government, making it difficult to accept such fate with its clampdown on its ‘so-called’ enemies.
In the press statement from the organisation titled ‘NIGERIA: Authorities Must End Enforced Disappearance’, to mark the International Day of Support for Victims of Enforced Disappearance which was celebrated on Monday, AI cited some instances of the Nigerian government critics that cannot be found.
“The Nigerian government must urgently address the heinous crimes of enforced disappearances, to comply with Nigeria’s international law obligations,” AI said in the statement.
“Families affected by enforced disappearance live through unimaginable torment. When people vanish without a trace, with the acquiescence of the state who then denies all knowledge, it’s impossible to move on.
“Each year, this symbolic day marks families’ daily wait for the truth of the fate of their disappeared relatives.
“The Nigerian authorities must bring them hope for justice, stop their delaying tactics and fulfil their promise to make an end of enforced disappearance.
“Nigerian security forces’ attempts to clamp down on Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) militants have led to arbitrary arrests, detentions, enforced disappearances and extrajudicial executions in the South-East and Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
“The whereabouts of at least 50 suspected members of IPOB arrested in Oyigbo, Rivers state are still unknown since their arrest in October and November 2020.
“The cases of at least 200 people, including former militants from Niger Delta, members of IPOB, #EndSARS protesters and security suspects believed to have been subjected to unresolved enforced disappearances in Nigeria, have been documented by Amnesty International. The real number is believed to be higher.
“Nigerian security forces often sight the anti-terror law introduced in that it allows the authorities to hold people without charge or trial in unofficial places of detention, often without contact to the outside world in practice, clearly increase the risk of people disappearing after being detained.”
“Nigeria is bound by international legal obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance both of which it has acceded to – to investigate, prosecute, punish and provide remedies and reparation for the crimes of enforced disappearance.
“The authorities must demonstrate zero tolerance for such crimes. They must take immediate action to end enforced disappearances and other serious violations, carry out independent, impartial and effective investigations, and prosecute those in the security forces suspected of responsibility in fair trials,” AI added.