Posted by News Express | 19 July 2020 | 711 times
By TUNBOSUN OGUNDARE
An erudite lawyer and human rights activist, Mr Femi Falana, has assured families of Nigerians who were allegedly killed by government security forces in various parts of the country during the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown of securing justice for them.
He gave the assurance at a ninth virtual public lecture organised by the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, last Thursday. He spoke at the event, as a guest speaker on “Law and society in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic.”
According to him, no fewer than 30 innocent persons were killed in various parts of the country by the security forces under the guise of enforcing Covid-19 regulations and we and some civil right groups are already in touch with the bereaved families to ensure we challenge the authorities for the unlawful killings of their loved ones and also demand compensations for them.
“Those people were killed on the guise of enforcing regulations that the elites were guilty of with the security forces looking elsewhere.
“Some public officers even had burials during the lockdown, exceeding the government stipulated a number of attendees and also without observing social distancing with no security operative challenged them,” he stressed.
Falana pointed out that the lockdown, especially as regards the ban on interstate movement seriously affected the daily income earners and millions of non-economically engaged Nigerians with the government not paying attention to their plights.
On the health sector, Falana said the Nigerian government would have been able to curb the spread of covid-19 and manage the pandemic better should the nation’s public health system is alive.
He said it was disheartening to know that more than 72,000 of registered doctors in the country had sought greener pasture abroad due to poor health system at home.
He said the isolation centres were hurriedly erected and have become dumping grounds for poor citizens while the rich go to private hospitals for COVID-19 treatment.
And up till now, he pointed out, no single government hospital in the country that is of international standards, saying that is why the public officers are anxious for the lifting of the ban on the international flight so as to rush to abroad for medical attention.
And these developments, he stressed, have really exposed the failure and lack of creativity of our successive political leaders, urging the authorities to wake up and do something meaningful to reverse the trend.
In her own lecture, the Coordinator, Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Team, Mrs Titilola Vivour-Adeniyi, said rape cases during this period of COVID-19 crisis and especially the nationwide lockdown reached an alarming height.
She said the law is clear on rape and other sexual abuse as they have legal consequences, mostly jail terms.
While dismissing the notion that most rape cases are carried out due to poor dressing by female victims, she said such thought is a mere excuse as lack of self-control of perpetrators is a major cause.
In his remarks, the Vice-Chancellor of LASU, Prof Olanrewaju Fagbohun, said the essence of the virtual public lecture series at this period of schools closure is to keep engaging the university community and the public on topical issues of public importance. (Sunday Tribune)
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