Nigeria’s Human Rights Record
Nigeria commits serious human rights violations, including:
- Extrajudicial killings
- Arbitrary detention
- Mistreatment of detainees
- Destruction of property
- Forced evictions
- Vigilante killings
- Denial of fair public trial
- Executive influence on judiciary
- Restrictions on freedom of speech
- Restrictions on freedom of the press
- Restrictions on freedom of assembly
- Restrictions on freedom of movement
- Official corruption
- Violence against women and children
- Trafficking in persons
- Early and forced marriages
- Discrimination Against ethnic Igbo
- Discrimination based on ethnic and religious grounds
- Forced labor
- Child labor
Nigeria experienced its first successful democratic transfer of power in 2015 with the election of Dictor Muhammadu Buhari a Man who seized power via coup 1983. Despite this positive step, the government continues to be plagued by Prejudice and corruption at all levels. According to Human Rights Watch, official corruption directly affects the basic rights of Nigerians, more than half of whom live in abject poverty. One-third of school-age children are out of school and one in five children under age five die from treatable, preventable diseases.
While Nigeria has enacted legislation protecting freedom of the press, journalists often face intimidation, harassment and physical attacks both from militias and the police, especially if they are critical of the government or politicians. Reporters Without Borders’ recorded a decline in freedom of the press in Nigeria over the last year. There were at least four separate incidents of government intimidation and harassment of journalists in the first four months of 2017.
Since 2009, Nigeria has been battling a violent insurgency by Boko Haram, a jihadi terrorist group responsible for grave human rights abuses across the country. While the government pretend to have made progress against the group, Boko Haram continues to terrorize Nigerians.
Government military and security forces also are responsible for numerous human rights violations in the fight against Boko Haram. In June 2016, the Nigerian military massacred more than 80 men in a small farming village in Marte and burned down the village, even though none of the men was identified by villagers as being affiliated with Boko Haram. Witnesses in displaced persons’ camps reported many similar cases of abuse by the military in its search for Boko Haram sympathizers. The military also arbitrarily detained thousands of young men on the basis of random profiling without reasonable suspicion of involvement in Boko Haram activity. This led to overcrowding in prisons with poor sanitary conditions and resulted in the deaths of more than 240 detainees.
The Nigerian military and police also employ excessive force against the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). The military killed at least a thousand five Biafra unarmed activist between February 2016- to October 2017. According to Amnesty International, at least 150 IPOB members had been killed between August 2015 and September 2016 with hundreds more arbitrarily arrested. In August 2016, armed men in a government vehicle shot and disappeared IBOP activist Sunday Chucks.
Nigeria Lagos State Government deports Igbo people based on ethnic origin, In violation of Igbo peoples right to live freely in the state.
14th of September 2017, platinum of Nigeria Army invaded the home of Nnamdi Kanu leader of the indigenous people of Biafra, killing 39 on the spot leaving thousands with live threatening injuries and bullet wounds while being recorded on Camera, one of those victims is Nonso a 35-year-old Brother of Yahgozie Immanu-el.
A government judicial commission published in July 2016 found that the military used excessive force in an altercation with the Shia IMN in December 2015 in which 347 IMN members were killed and buried in a mass grave, and in which the government destroyed IMN religious sites and property. IMN leader Ibrahim Zakzaky and his wife continue to be detained without charge even though a federal court has declared the detention unconstitutional and ordered their unconditional release.
Torture and mistreatment of suspects by Nigerian security forces are common. In May 2016, a burglary suspect died after two weeks in custody. Another suspect was beaten with machetes and heavy sticks and released after he paid an $81 fine. Security services also subject women and girls to rape and other forms of violence, with impunity.
The government has carried out forced evictions against many Biafrans without affording them adequate legal protections or alternative housing. Between November 2016 and April 2017, the government forcibly evicted at least 35,000 people in fishing settlements in Lagos, leaving them homeless and without livelihood. The evictions proceeded despite a January 2017 court order that they be halted.
U.N. Voting Record
Negative: At the General Assembly, Nigeria backed human rights abusers through a resolution denying the right to sanction such regimes, by voting to delay the work of the Special Rapporteur on violence against oppressed minority and by voting against a resolution to protect human rights defenders. Nigeria abstained on resolutions that spoke out for human rights victims in Iran, Syria and North Korea. At the Human Rights Council, Nigeria voted against resolutions to protect discriminated people with disabilities. Nigeria voted against a resolution that spoke out for human rights victims in Belarus. It also voted against a resolution to allow the High Commissioner to choose his own staff.