Based on efforts by MacArthur grantee Access to Justice, a Nigerian police inspector was recently indicted for failing to uphold Lagos State’s Coroner Systems Law at the State’s first coroner’s inquest. Adopted in 2007, the law requires that all suspicious deaths be investigated by a coroner. However, the police inspector failed to notify authorities of the death of Samson Adekoya, who died in February 2008, a few days after being taken into custody. He had been arrested on allegations of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Adekoya was later given a public burial because family members, who were not informed by police of the whereabouts of his remains, failed to claim the body. The presiding magistrate at the inquest also ordered police officials to publish the names of those who die in custody in newspapers and investigate whether other police officers were involved in Adekoya’s death. Access to Justice has led efforts to restore coroner laws throughout Nigeria to promote justice and accountability for victims of extrajudicial killings.

Human Rights & International Justice, Africa, Human Rights, Justice, Nigeria