The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benin-City Branch, has condemned in strong terms, the alleged shooting by operatives of the Edo State Command of the Department of State Services (DSS), on January 18, 2022, in Benin City, which resulted in the death of one person and many sustaining injuries.
In a signed statement by the Chairman NBA, Benin City, Pius Oiwoh and Secretary Mr. Andrew Lawani, the body described the incident as barbaric, callous, and act clearly in violation of the fundamental rights to life and the dignity of human persons which every citizen enjoys.
“Perhaps it should be restated that the job of security agencies is the protection of the lives and properties of citizens and not to recklessly use firearms to kill, maim, harass and/or intimidate vulnerable members of the public.
“We commend the proactive steps taken by the Edo State Government and other sister security agencies to bring the situation under control thus preventing the situation from degenerating and escalating into a serious and unmanageable crisis.”
The NBA further called on concerned authorities to ensure that “those behind the dastardly act are urgently fished out and made to face the full weight of the law to serve as a deterrent to others who believe that they can use the license of holding firearms to squeeze lives out of innocent citizens.
“The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria spells out the rights that citizens of Nigeria are entitled to enjoy. Security agencies must learn to treat citizens with much-needed respect and must obey the rules of engagement before using deadly force against unarmed citizens.
“The Bar as leader of the civil society and promoter of the Rule of Law will continue to speak against all forms of violation and infractions of the constitution by anyone,” he noted.