Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has advised President Muhammadu Buhari to urgently reform the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, to avoid further attacks on its operatives across the country.
HURIWA said it was not in any way providing justification or endorsement of the coordinated attacks against facilities of the police by aggrieved citizens, but that it was worried that it is: “still business as usual at the top echelons of the Nigerian Police Force and the Central government as there is no deliberate effort to reform, reorganize, restructure and recalibrate the rotten institution of the Nigerian Police Force so the members and officers are forced to comply with the global best practices and adhere by the tenets and letters of the Constitution and the Nigerian Police Force Act of 2020.
“The Rights group recalled some of the following targeted attacks in many parts of Nigeria thus: “March 3, 2021, unidentified gunmen in the early hours of Wednesday killed two police officers in Cross River State, Nigeria’s South-south, bringing to six the number of officers killed in the last six days in the state.”
A statement issued on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, by the National Coordinator of HURIWA, Emmanuel Onwbiko said: “HURIWA has warned that targeted attacks of police operatives and facilities all across the Country may escalate unless the President Muhammadu Buhari genuinely, patriotically and statesmanly take verifiable, concrete, transparent and law based steps to clean up the Augean stable that the Nigerian Police Force has since metamophosed into.
“Four police officers were killed recently, on February 25, in Calabar, by some gunmen. The police spokesperson, Irene Ugbo, who confirmed the latest killing, said the attack occurred in Obubra, in the central part of Cross River State.”
The group said that President has also compounded the spectacular public image FIASCO of the Nigerian Police Force by his recent: “unconstitutional extended the tenure of the office of the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu even after he has reached the retirement age as specified by the newly amended NIGERIA POLICE ACT 2020 which the President Muhammadu Buhari personally signed into law.”
HURIWA said the genesis of the attacks on the police is the general perception that there is a lack of political will to effectively resolve the dwindling state of: “discipline and professionalism amongst the members and officers of the Nigerian Police Force who are seen as persons who derive joy in the use of torture and extrajudicial killings of civilians.
“The Rights group said there is the urgency of the now for the Nigerian Police Force to be restructured fundamentally and all the bad eggs weeded off the police force making use of the recommendations to be determined by the different investigative panels on police brutality known as #ENDSARS PANELS.”
HURIWA however expressed regret that the police hierarchy seems: “unperturbed about the proceedings of the judicial panels and has not compelled the indicted police operatives accused of extralegal execution of the citizens to appear before the various panels.”
The group said Buhari must be put under pressure to begin to respect and enforce the Nigerian Police Force Act of 2020 because of the many good innovations within the body of the law.
HURIWA recalled that Section 4 of the New Act has extended the duties of the Nigeria Police beyond detection and prevention of crimes and protection of rights, lives and properties, maintenance of public safety, law and order; and the enforcement of laws and regulations to include collaborating with agencies to provide assistance to persons in distress, victims of road accidents, fire disasters, earthquakes, and flood, facilitating the free passage and movement on the highways, roads, and streets open to the public and adoption community partnership.
“The Nigeria Police Force also now has the duty to vet and approve the registration of private detective schools and private investigation outfits.
“The Rights group said the new Police Act as interpreted by legal experts has been upgraded to ensure that the Nigeria Police Force promotes and protects the fundamental human rights of persons as provided for by the Constitution, the African Charter on Human and Peoples Right, and other international legal instruments on human rights, The Police Force is forthwith expected to collaborate with relevant agencies to provide legal services to accused person where necessary,” it added.
Source: The Nation