HURIWA advocates independent police panel to check killings

Posted by News Express | 24 April 2019 | 913 times

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•HURIWA National Coordinator, Comrade Onwubiko

 Worried by what it identified as the inability of the Police Service Commission (PSC) to fulfill the mandate of independently investigating widespread police misconduct, a call has gone to the National Assembly and President Muhammadu Buhari to adopt effective measures to check the trends.

A civil rights group, the Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria (HURIWA), said the establishment of an independent police conduct authority was necessary to forestall popular discontent and mass action against the Nigerian Police Force for the widespread misuse of firearms targeting innocent Nigerians in breach of the law. HURIWA said that it is on record that in the last two decades over 10,000 Nigerians have died from police extra-judicial executions.

Besides, the Police Service Commission, HURIWA believes, is operationally not independent at all and lacks the capacity and skills necessary for determining when police operatives have misused their fire arms against civilians making use of forensics and other science-based evidence generating mechanisms which has made it more than necessary for Nigeria to now establish an independent police conduct authority just like what obtains in United Kingdom and New Zealand to be specific.

HURIWA, in a statement by its National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, and National Media Affairs Director, Miss Zainab Yusuf, regretted that police extra judicial killings have become a menace which represents a hydra-headed monster that demands that policy makers should think out of the box.

The rights group also condemned “the media showmanship and dramatization by the acting Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Adamu, who kept giving out orders that are never meant to be implemented as a way of stopping the illegal and excessive use of ballistic force against citizens by the armed police operatives.

“Police extra-legal executions are serious crimes against humanity which had even attracted the attention of the United Nations’ special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings who visited Nigeria and compiled extensive statistics of thousands of suspects murdered by the police illegally.

“Police orderly room trials are not transparent enough. The court system is way too slow because the police investigators handling investigation of cases of extralegal killings by the police, most times are compromised to mess up the evidence gathering mechanisms and thereby enabling the suspected police killers to escape the long arm of the law. Nigeria needs a panel similar to the independent police conduct authority to handle complaints about the police just like the New Zeealand police. HURIWA recalls that the independent panel of New Zealand is independent and is headed by a judge and don’t answer to the police, the government or anyone else about their findings.”

HURIWA also affirmed that it was drawing up a private bill to be sent to President Buhari and the National Assembly to create the Independent Police Conducts Complaints Authority in Nigeria.

Source: News Express

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