By NBF News
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The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Borno State has condemned the new security checks introduced last weekend in Maiduguri, the state capital, by the joint military/police task force, noting that the security strategy violates the rights of the people.

Addressing journalists yesterday in Maiduguri shortly after a stormy emergency meeting of the executive of the association, state Chairman, Aminu Sani, said the NBA appreciated the security challenges in the state as well as efforts of government and security agencies to nip the serial killing in the bud. He, however, noted with dismay what he called the dehumanisation of the citizens.

'The bar noted, with dismay, the way and manner the security agencies were carrying out their duties. The dehumanisation of the citizens has become the order of the day while the security agents maltreat residents with impunity. The directive by the security agents that innocent people raise up their arms, disengage from their vehicles or push motorcycles and trek for kilometres in the performance of their daily duties is unacceptable to NBA,' Sani declared.

The chairman, who condemned what he called the excesses of the police and soldiers, maintained that their action, which allegedly made residents to suffer at the weekend was a violation of Section 4 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria and the African Charter for Human Rights as well as the United Nations Charter for Human Rights.

The bar, however, demanded apology from the government to the people for the alleged excesses of the security operatives even as it called for 'complete over-hauling of the security arrangement to respect the rule of law and constitutional rights.'

It called for investigation of alleged cases of human rights abuses and discipline of security personnel found to have perpetrated the act, adding that 'security challenges require intelligence operations not over-militarisation of the society, massive, indiscriminate and arbitrary arrest without justification.'

While condemning unlawful accusations against the judiciary in the discharge of their duties, the lawyers urged investigators to do their work thoroughly to get conviction against suspected Boko Haram men rather than blaming the bench and the bar.

However, the association said it would liaise with the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in the state to take up the matter should the government and security agencies fail to respond to its demands.