Declare state of emergency in the Police Force or Nigeria risks falling into anarchy, social disorder, HURIWA warns FG

Posted by News Express | 20 June 2020 | 1,131 times

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Civil society organization, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), has warned that unless the Nigerian Police Force comprehensively and surgically reformed and re-oriented fundamentally to embrace its traditional constitutional mandate of enforcement of law and order, prevention of crimes and criminality and deliver quality security related services for the corporate benefits of Nigeria, the nation stands the risk of falling into anarchy, widespread disorder and  total breakdowns of law and order in the nearest future.

HURIWA specifically condemned the high level of Police professional indiscipline and the ways and manners that the officers of the Police from the office of the Inspector General of Police have delved into civil land related disputes and land speculations in Enugu State which has become the new normal for some top police officers who regularly invade communities experiencing legal challenges with land ownership in Enugu to exploit some parties against the others rather than allow the due process of the law in line with the Land Use Act of 1978 which vests ownership and authority over all lands in a given state to the governors. The Rights group said it has received a presentation from some Enugu State communities alleging plots to frame up innocent persons with alleged land dispute related fatalities.

HURIWA has also expressed sadness that some police officers have misused their powers to get involved in extortion and other criminality which has become a hydra-headed monster that needed to be confronted with a Presidential Declaration of a State of Policing Emergency so the Federal Government would implement concrete measures to re-professionalize the Nigerian Police Force and to make the agencies put in place to check professional misconduct in the Nigerian Police Force  to work effectively and efficiently.

Worried by the rapid decline in professional discipline by officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force, HURIWA has in a media statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and the National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, challenged President Buhari to immediately declare a National State of Policing Emergency and to work with the National Assembly and the organized civil society community in the country to fashion out the needed legislative amendments to the enabling law setting up the Police Service Commission (PSC) to effectively enable the agency to live up to the mandates of instilling strict disciplinary action against erring police officers and to redirect the Nigerian Police Force towards greater productivity, professional excellence and development and efficient delivery of security services to benefit the Nigerian people and the country as a whole.

HURIWA has also asked the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu to investigate the mishandling of an allegation of rape made by a young girl who called out the popular musician Mr. D’Banj on Twitter that he raped her in an hotel in Lekki in 2018, and D’Banj’s response was to get the IGP’s Intelligence Response Team, headed by Assistant Commissioner of Police Kwari to swoop in.

Information reaching HURIWA stated that there was no certainty if ACP Kwari was together with the team when they arrested the young girl on Tuesday evening and kept her overnight at their office in Ikeja. “We hereby urge the IGP to save the NPF from these huge cases of indiscipline and gross misconduct by the officers and men of the Nigerian Police Force.”

HURIWA wants the IGP to investigate the allegation against the musician: “D’Banj and his manager, Damien Okoroafor, had gone ahead to grab this girl again this morning (Thursday June 18) after being released by the police, and they allegedly took her to an address in Lekki. At some point, her phone wasn’t going through. The girl didn’t know where they were taking her to, but our colleagues used GPRS to track her phone and get the coordinates. What impunity!

“If D’banj says he is innocent of the girl’s accusations and call out on Twitter, why go to these lengths? Why ‘kidnap’ the girl? Why not sue her for libel or whatever and have your day in court? Why resort to extra-judicial means? The young girl is safe now in the custody of colleagues. She is so traumatized and just wants all these to end. She wants to leave it to God. But no survivors of sexual and gender-based violence must not be muzzled. Impunity must stop.”

HURIWA also expressed worry by the emerging reports of the story of the seven policemen that were allegedly involved in armed robbery that were reportedly killed in a gun duel with the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Delta State.

In the report, HURIWA alleged, a Police Sergeant in Bayelsa attached to the armoury command has also been linked to the incident, and has being arrested and transferred to the police headquarters in Abuja for his alleged involvement in the supply of weapons to the murdered policemen for robbery just as it is alleged that the Commissioner for Police in the State, Nkereuwem Akpan, reportedly led a team of policemen to the State Command in Delta to retrieve the bodies of the seven policemen killed during the shootout.

“These allegations must be transparently investigated and measures put in place to forestall the frequent involvement of armed police officers in armed robbery and other nefarious activities that have dented the global image of the Nigerian Police Force,” HURIWA said.

The rights group is therefore of the considered position that this is the right time for President Buhari and the National Assembly to declare a National State of Policing Emergency in Nigeria to curb the growing excesses and declining state of professionalism amongst Police officers.

Source: News Express

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