Timi Frank has urged the United Nations to investigate the recent clash between security personnel and Shiite members in parts of Abuja.
Frank, in a letter to the UN secretary-general, Antonio Guterres, condemned the killing of some Shiite members during a protest in demand for the release of their leader, Sheikh Ibrahim El-Zakzaky.
Also copied in the letter as seen by reporters was the United State of America (USA), British High Commission, Delegation of the European Union to Nigeria, France and Germany through their embassies in Nigeria.
Frank accused the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration of “total disregard for human lives and the rule of law”.
“Although military spokesmen have put the combined fatality figures to about 10, IMN sources say over five dozen of their members were killed and much number injured,” Frank began.
“Reports say over 400 were arrested and being detained by the police. While exact casualty and fatalities figures are unavailable at this time, I believe that a high-powered inquiry into the incident by the UN would reveal the true extent of the extra-judicial murders committed by the military against free citizens.
“I call on you to use your good offices to ensure that the incidents are investigated and the army and by extension, the Buhari administration held to account for the gruesome violation of its citizens’ rights to life and peaceful assembly. The extra-judicial killing of the Shia members negates all known UN statues, protocols and resolutions.
“I urge you to ensure that these violations are not wished away by the Nigerian government over claims by the military authorities they only responded to undue provocation by the sect. The use of live ammunition against innocent protesters constitute crime against humanity which must not be glossed over by the United Nations and other human rights watchdogs across the world.
“To show the level of complicity of the government in Nigeria, the presidency has neither condemned the use of live ammunition against unarmed protesters nor announced any containment measures to prevent its escalation. One thing is clear and I want the UN to take notice of it.
“I hereby call on you to urgently constitute an International Judicial Commission of Inquiry into the unfortunate massacre of members of the IMN – protesting the illegal detention of their leader, Sheik Ibrahim El-ZakZaky – in the last few days,” Frank pleaded.