10 people have been murdered since young Nigerians protesting police brutality and demanding widespread police reforms, began taking to the streets of cities across Nigeria penultimate week, according to Amnesty International.

The human rights group says police have been using excessive force against unarmed protesters since the new round of protests against police brutality began on Thursday, October 8, 2020.

"So far, Nigerian Police have killed at least 10 people since the start of protests against callous operations of SARS," Amnesty International told CNN.

SARS is an acronym for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the notorious police unit that has often been accused of extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses.

"The excessive use of force by the police in response to the protests reveals the longstanding disregard for the right to life by Nigerian security forces," Amnesty said.

Nigerians want an end to the SARS police unit
Nigerians want an end to the SARS police unit

The agency added that excessive use of force "without justifiable grounds is a crime under international law.

"Amnesty International therefore calls for an urgent review of the use of force and firearms by police officers against protesters and thorough, independent and impartial investigation into all cases of violence including deaths that occurred during the #EndSARS protests," Seun Bakare, head of programs at Amnesty International Nigeria, told CNN.

Dissolving SARS

The Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, and President Muhammadu Buhari have announced the dissolution of SARS, but police brutality of unarmed civilians haven't abated since the directives.

The protesters say they will continue with the street marches and blockade of major roads until they see that five of their demands on wholesale police reforms are being implemented on the streets.

The protests which began in Lagos, have spread to Abuja, Enugu, Calabar, Ilorin, Oyo, Akwa Ibom, Delta and Rivers.

Police brutality is not a new thing in Nigeria [247ureports]
Police brutality is not a new thing in Nigeria [247ureports]

Protesters have also been defying the pouring rain in major cities.

A new tactical unit to replace the dissolved SARS will be known as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), IGP Adamu announced on Tuesday, October 13; and new recruits will undergo psychological and medical examinations to ensure they are fit for the job, he added.

Hit by a stray bullet

One of the murdered from the protests has been identified as Jimoh Isiaq who was 20-years-old.

Isiaq, who was a by-stander, was killed by a stray bullet fired at a protester in Ogbomosho, Oyo State, on Saturday, October 10, 2020.

His death sparked protests and the destruction of the palace of the traditional chief on Sunday.

"The bullet police shot hit his abdomen and came out from the back," Jimoh Kazeem, Isiaq's elder brother, told CNN.

Jimoh Isiaq before he was gunned down by the Police on Saturday, October 10, 2020 (Guardian)
Jimoh Isiaq before he was gunned down by the Police on Saturday, October 10, 2020 (Guardian)

Police denied on the day that they had shot anyone, blaming hoodlums for the unrest.

"Isiaq was very gentle and humble. I have not seen him fight anyone before. He is one of the pillars of our family. His death is very painful," Kazeem added.

Kazeem also told CNN that Isiaq's widow is devastated and that he leaves behind a two-year-old daughter.

The family says it plans to sue the Nigerian police force if authorities don't investigate his killing.

"The protest was largely peaceful before the police fired that shot, from the evidence we had gathered. We know the shots were fired by policemen stationed in Owode police station.

"We know the names of the officers that fired the shots. We are not short of evidence to prove police brutality," Hussein Afolabi, Isiaq's family lawyer, told CNN.

"Three other persons were killed at Ogbomosho (on Sunday) and we have several others injured. We spoke to a lot of people on the ground. The other two are also unarmed protesters shot by the police. We have overwhelming evidence. People are complaining against police brutality. It is in our face, it is everywhere," Afolabi added.

#EndSARS protesters in Lagos
#EndSARS protesters in Lagos

On Monday, October 12, a man identified as Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo, 55, was killed in the Surulere suburb of Lagos during the #EndSARS protest in the area.

Three other persons were also reported killed in Lagos on the day.

Police blamed hoodlums for the Lagos shootings and deaths.

The protesters also decry that none of the killer policemen have been arrested or tried since the protests began.