- National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) says police brutality and extortion are highest in the south east
- The NHRC and other organisations accuse policemen of terrorising the same people they are supposed to protect
- Segun Awosanya wants every policeman to undergo mental evaluation before being posted
Brutality and extortion by men of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) are most common in the south east, the zone’s coordinator of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Uche Nwokocha, has said.
Nwokocha raised the alarm about alleged police brutality, abuse, intimidation and extortion in the zone noting that the officers in the area had now constituted themselves into a terror group.
Speaking during public tribunal on police corruption, brutally and abuse in southern Nigeria in Owerri, capital of Imo state, she said: “Police corruption, abuse and brutality have become more pervasive in the south east.
“There is high level of impunity and extortion, with illegal checkpoints at every one pole and those who refuse to give in to the extortion by these armed policemen would be severely manhandled.”
According to her, some unfortunate ones have ended up being killed and, thereafter, framed as armed robbers.
She insisted that the anti-kidnapping, anti-cultism and the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have all become agents of terror.
“The extra-judicial killings by officers of the SARS is frightening and efforts by the NHRC and the Network of Police Reforms in Nigeria (NOPRIN) to get the police accountable for these extra-judicial killings have failed.
“In most cases, the police will lie that the culprit has been dismissed, when, in fact, they have been transferred,” she said while describing SARS as being used as debt collectors, for settlement of land and even family disputes, which are supposed to be simply civil matters.
In his observation, the national coordinator of #EndSARS, Segun Awosanya, said the officers in the unit have constituted themselves into an organised crime syndicate, who are above the law.
“Our police system has been operating under the oppressive act of 1943 and, until that act is repealed and replaced with a more progressive one that is in tandem with the administration of criminal justice.
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“Today, what we have as police officers are people who constitute themselves into an organised crime syndicate that are above the law and that is why we are calling for the scrapping of SARS or its total overhauling,” he said.
He urged that police officers should be subjected to psychological evaluation because, “you don’t give a gun to a man that is mentally unbalanced.”
Legit.ng earlier reported that the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, on Tuesday, April 23, ordered the immediate arrest and prosecution of those who attacked and killed some police officers in Cross River state on April 17.
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