The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic across the world has created unprecedented challenges to governance and the enjoyment of human rights. Across Africa and the developing world, COVID-19 has created an emergency humanitarian and human rights situation, especially in countries with little investments in the health sector. The pandemic has further exposed the underlying issues of inequalities and poverty which hitherto have had roots within and across countries".

In response to the pandemic, governments and health authorities have imposed restrictions on movements and assemblies which have had massive impacts on national and global economies. The Government of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has made efforts at containing the virus. At national and state levels, governments have put in place financial and institutional measures such as setting up testing infrastructures, Treatment Centres, initiated processes towards identifying a vaccine for the cure of the virus and instituting cash transfer and palliatives for the poor and needy”.

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President Muhammadu Buhari in a Press Statement on 13th April 2020, extended the Lockdown period for 14 more days effective 13th – 27th April 2020. The lockdown period was further extended from 27th April to 4th May, 2020.

This report therefore documents the various incidents of human rights violation allegedly perpetrated by security agencies and other actors during the extended lockdown period commencing from 13th April to 4th May, 2020.

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The Federal Government of Nigeria through the Office of the Acting President, Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, GCON, SAN, requested the National Human Rights Commission to constitute a Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on 15th August, 2018. This followed the wide public outcry against the alleged human rights abuses by officers of SARS across the country.

The NHRC inaugurated the panel on 28th August, 2018 with the mandate to investigate, make recommendations and advice government on the reform of SARS and the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). The Panel had three months to accomplish its assignment.

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The development of Human Rights has been a continuous quest by the United Nations since its inception. The first recorded discussion on the subject of National Human Rights Institutions took place in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in 1946 when the council invited member states to consider the desirability of establishing information groups or local Human Rights Committee within their respective countries to collaborate with them in furthering the work of the commission on human rights.

Indeed only a very small number of independent NHRIs had been established in any region before 1990, when the Commission on human rights decided to hold a meeting on the subject of National Human Rights Institutions. This conference which convened in Paris in 1991, prepared a set of “Principles relating to the status of National Institutions” - “Paris principles”.

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