By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is pained to the marrow that the Nigerian government and all relevant non state actors have stood by as the NIGERIA Police Force has been turned into a killer squad and as the MOST notorious violator of the HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS EVEN WITH ALL THE CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS THAT MAKE IT OBLIGATORY THAT THE INVIOLABLE HUMAN RIGHTS OF THE CITIZENS ARE RESPECTED AND PROTECTED. THE ENTIRE CHAPTER 4 PF THE NIGERIAN CONSTITUTION ARE DEDICATED TO THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS PROVISIONS.
Gentlemen of the media, It is unfortunate that President Muhammadu Buhari has treated with kid gloves the critical issue of the organised use of torture, extralegal execution of Nigerians as the tactics of policing in Nigeria in spite of all the inherent and attendant breaches of the constitutional protected freedoms of the citizens. The Nigerian Police Force has decidedly set up units whose duties are just to extort Nigerians, arrest and detain innocent people the moment a patron was able to pay the SERVICE CHARGES FOR THE BIG MEN IN THE NIGERIAN POLICE. WE HAVE TWO RELATED MATTERS OF POLICE’S RECKLESS BEHAVIOURALTENDENCIES AND WE WILL SUGGEST A SET OF SOLUTIONS WHICH WE WILL URGE THE NATIOMAL ASSEMBLY ABD THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO ADOPT IF THEY DO NOT WANT THE COLLAPSE OF LAW AND ORDER THAT WILL OCCUR IF THESE ORGANISED ILLEGAL EXECUTIONS OF CITIZEJS AND ARBITRARY ARRESTS AND ILLEGAL DETENTIONS CONTINUE. WE JUST BEEN SENT A PETITION THAT HAS JUST BEEN SENT TO THE IGP MOHAMMED MOHAMMED.
Titled: ” A COMPLAINT AGAINST A MANIFEST ACT OF INSUBORDINATION, INDISCIPLINE, DISOBEDIENCE TO LAWFUL DIRECTIVES OF THE INSPECTOR-GENERAL OF POLICE AND THE CONTINUOS HARRASSMENT OF OZOR JOSEPH NNAJI, HRH IGWE MIKE NNUKWU AND OTHERS BY THE SPECIAL TACTICAL SQUAD (STS): A NOTIFICATION OF AN UGLY AND DANGEROUS TREND IN THE INSTITUTION OF THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE.”
HURIWA which was also sent a copy learnt that the lawyers told the IGP THUS: ” We continue to act as the solicitors to the concerned kindred families of Amechi Awkunanaw and Obeagu communities of Enugu South Local Government Area of Enugu State, both of whom shall for the purposes of this complaint be referred to, as our clients and upon whose express mandate and instruction we forward this complaint to you.
With every sense of humility sir, we refer to our letter to you dated the 15th day of June, and received by your office on the 16th day of June 2020 respectively as well as your directive, as contained in your letter to the Commissioner of Police (Legal) with reference number CB:7000/IGP.SEC/ABJ/VOL.485/18 also dated the 16th day of June, 2020. The said letter and your directive are hereby attached for ease reference, and wish to notify you of the very ugly and pathetically disappointing alliance between the Special Tactical Squad (STS) with the D9 Section of the State Criminal Investigation Department of Enugu State Police Command aimed at bringing disrepute to your most respected office.
Following your directive under reference, we have keenly followed same up with the legal section of your office and discovered to our chagrin that all efforts made by the ACP Effiong Asuquo to retrieve the case files from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) in accordance with the said directive have been brazenly frustrated by the Special Tactical Squad (STS) and which STS has, rather than submitting the case files concerning our client’s various land cases, has handed same over to D9 section of the Enugu State Police Command for purposes considered to be antithetical to the ethics of policing and a manifest anathema to the discipline inherent in the Nigeria police Force.
In what appears to be a brazen disregard to the office of the Inspector-General of Police, it is indeed very sad to remark that while the Legal Section was making very frantic effort to retrieve the case files from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) in compliance with the order/directive of the Inspector-General of Police under reference, the Special Tactical Squad through one Inspector Celestine Nyigba – an officer attached with STS – connived with the D9 section of the Criminal Investigation Department of Enugu State Police Command to arrest and detain the indigenes of our client over the same subject which your office has directed the Commissioner of Police, Legal to consolidate.
Sir, just this afternoon 22nd September, 2020, our clients were arraigned before the Upper Area Court Kabusa Abuja-FCT, on trump up charges of gun running, possession of fire arms among others.
Further to the above and in view of the continued involvement of the STS as well as the said D9 section in land related matters vis-à-vis the manifest flouting of your directives by the said STS and D9 which conduct to say the least depicts the highest form of indiscipline in the Nigeria Police Force, we wish to also call to your attention your circular of June 30, 2020 titled “Force-Re-organization” and to state that the essence of the said force re-organization should not be defeated by the unnecessary inclination to indiscipline by both the STS and D9 respectively.
Accordingly, it is our most humble and candid prayer that you prevail on the STS and D9 to hand over all the case files related to the original complaints to the office of commissioner of police (legal) for consolidation and harmonised investigation as you had early directed.
Confident that our prayer will be favourably considered, we wish to express our deepest regards and gratitude to you.”
Gentlemen , the second issue is the kidnapping, sexual violations and extralegal execution of a Youth Corp member Miss Ifeoma Stella Abugu by the SARS IN ABUJA.
THE LEGAL REPRESENTARIVE OF THE BRLEREAVED FAMILY OF THIS POLICE ASSASINATED CITIZEN WROTE AS FOLLOWS: “Alleged sexual assault, Assault and murder of ifeoma Stella Agugu by Officers of special Anti Robbery squad who are still at large.
The Above subject matter refers, We are solicitors to the Abuja family of miss stella ifeoma ( hereinafter referred to as ‘ Our client ‘ ), and in whose instructions we write .
Sir , it is our client’s instruction that ifeoma was arrested and whisked away in lieu of her Fiance ( Mr. Afam ugwnwa ) at wumba Village, Lokogoma, Abuja on 10th September , 2020 at about 5.00pm by men of special Anti Robbery squad (SARS) operatives whose identity we don’t know yet at the time of instruction, Sir , Ifeoma died in custody the day following. The picture of the deceased shortly before her arrest and death is attached herewith as annexure A.
Sir, according to our client’s instructions, the SARS operatives invaded the deceased fiancé’s apartment at wumba Village, lokogoma , Abuja at about 5.00pm in search of Mr. Afam ugwunwa Who was not present , They therefore arrested the deceased in lieu . According to residents and eye witnesses, ifeoma was whisked away by the operatives same evening in a healthy state.
On 15th September, 2020 information reached the family that ifeoma Stella Abugu is dead and her body lying with gwagwalada specialist hospital. Meanwhile our clients’ have gone to SARS office guzape , Abuja and made sensitive findings including that the officers who carried out the arrest were on illegal duty ; the matter has been transferred to Apo police devision headed by DPO Usman for preliminary investigations ; and investigative police officer ( IPO ) Inspector Bulus is also investigating the matter currently”.
The constitution created the police service commission to check the excesses of the police but those who enforce these provisions have made sure that the police service commission becomes and operates like a contraption. This is why Ifeoma got killed because the statute stipulating the functions and powers of the police service commission have been continuously thwarted and sabotaged from both within and without just as the police service commission ACT ought to stop all these lawlessness but then if you check how recklessly unprofessional hundreds of thousands of police operatives are, you will agree with me that the laws setting up this disciplinary commission for the police has been desecrated.
Specifically, the Functions and Powers of the Commission 6. (1) The Commission shall-
(a) Be responsible for the appointment and promotion of persons to offices (other than the office of the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force
(b) Dismiss and exercise disciplinary control over Persons (other than the Inspector-General of Police) in the Nigeria Police Force;
(c) Formulate polices and guidelines for the appointment, promotion, discipline and dismissal of officers of the Nigeria Police Force;
(d) Identify factors inhibiting or undermining discipline in the Nigeria Police Force;
(e) Formulate and implement policies aimed at the efficiency and discipline to the Nigeria Police Force;
(f) Perform such other functions which in. the opinion of the Commission are required to ensure the optimal efficiency of the Nigeria Police Force; and
(g) Carry out such other functions as the President may, from time to time, direct.
(2) The Commission shall not be subject to the direction, control or supervision of any other authority or person in the performance of its functions other than as is prescribed in this Act.
7. The Commission shall have power to-
(a) Pay the staff of the Commission such remuneration and allowances as are payable to persons of equivalent grades in the Civil Service of the Federation;
(b) Enterc into such 5gvc as May be necessary or expedient for the discharge of its functions and ensure the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission; and
(c) Do such other things as are necessary and expedient for the efficient performance of the functions of the Commission.
8. The Commission may, subject to such conditions as it may think fit, delegate any of its powers under this Act-
(a) To any officer in the service of the Nigeria Police Force ; or (b) To a committee consisting of such number of persons, one of whom shall be named as Chairman, as may be prescribed by the Commission.
So since there is a lack of effectice checks and balances, Miss. Ifeoma fell to the crude form of policing tactics that is criminal in nature in Nigeria which both the executive, legislative and judicial systems have collectively failed to stop.
Those populating the leadership cadre of these arms of government constitute the corrosive elite that have messed up the nation.
The elites in Nigeria do not blink an eye when the likes of Ifeoma Abugu is brutally killed.
This is because their children are all in European schools and America where they collectively took our public resources and diverted to their personal accounts.
These kids of the privileged elites are not the victims of the oppressive and dehumanizing crude policing tactics. So Nigeria does not care even if the national human rights commission (NHRC) is gravely undermined and administered as a barking dog with no teeth to bite
The question to ask is why is Nigeria such a dysfunctional place whereby the under privileged are killed by the police daily without any accountability, but yet the country is part of the commonwealth system and the United Nations system?.
Reading through the manual on human rights training for police in commonwealth West African countries, the then deputy secretary as at 2005 Florence Magasha wrote as follows:
“United in their diversity, all 53 members of the commonwealth hold certain principles in common. These principles include peace, democracy and good governance, and respect for human rights and the rule of law, as embodied in the 1971 Declaration of Commonwealth Principles and the 1991 Harare Commonwealth Declaration In upholding these and in pursuing the ideals on which the Commonwealth is based – ideals of peaceful and stable, just and equitable, and prosperous societies – the importance of observing the rule of law cannot be overstated In serving and protecting their communities, police and law enforcement officials play a vital role. They are duty-bound to enforce the law. However, the manner in which such officials carry out their duties contributes to the, sort of conditions in which human and economic development and flourishing is possible
The preambles of some gloal humam rifhts laws states as follows: ‘’Recognition of the inherent dignity and of the equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”(Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Preamble United Nations General Assembly, 1948)
Also we are told that: “In the performance of their duty, law enforcement officials shall respect and protect human dignity and maintain and uphold the human rights of all persons.”(Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials, Article 2 United Nations General Assembly, 1979).
Besides, “We believe in the liberty of the individual, in equal rights for all citizens regardless of race, colour, creed or political belief”(Declaration of Commonwealth Principles, Singapore 1971).
What criteria might be used for the measurement of acceptable and professional police behaviour? The following principles, norms and values can serve as criteria (measurements) for ethical and professional police behaviour respect for liberty and equality of every person, , service; truth; -property; and life. These Commonwealth principles are commonsensical and rational and these steps and measures are not rocket science. Do we continue to allow the trigger happy and rogue police operatives kill more IFEOMAS, OLUS, AHMADUS? We must stop these police terrorism on the underprivileged citizens who are in their tens of millions. Nigerians, rise and defend your NON NEGOTIABLE HUMAN RIGHTS TO LIFE BECAUSE ONCE YOU GET KILLED, THAT ENDS ALL YOUR HUMAN RIGHTS EVEN IF JUSTICE WEIGHS STRONGLY ON THE KILLER, THE DEAD HAS DIED FOREVER. HURIWA WILL TODAY SEND A STRONG WORDED LETTER TO THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND AND THE BRITISH GOVERNMENT TO EXPEL NIGERIA FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS SINCE THE NIGERIAN POLICE FORCE HAS BECOME STATE FUNDED TERROR ORGANISATION. WE WILL DEMAND THAT THE POLICE IN NIGERIA BE DECLARED A TERROR ORGANISATION IS AFTER A WEEK NO STRONG MEASURES ASLRE ADOPTED TO PUNISH KILLERS IN POLICE UNIFORMS.