Group tasks Police Service Commission on extrajudicial killings by officers
Jan. 05, 2021
Rule of law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC) has called on the Police Service Commission (PSC) to ensure that cases of extrajudicial killing of citizens by police officers are not swept under the carpet.
The Centre charged the commission to ensure thorough investigations into those cases to ensure that the police officers responsible are prosecuted and adequate compensations paid to victims.
RULAAC in a statement signed by its executive director, Okechukwu Nwanguma, said the Centre was seriously concerned about increasing incidents of Police misuse of firearms and extrajudicial killing across the country banning civic protests.
He added that it is also concerned about the Inspector General of Police (IGP’s) alleged often “illegal directives” to police officers to use maximum force to q uell protests.
“This is indicative that the Police have learnt no lessons from the recent #EndSARS experience,” the group said. RULAAC notes that announcing the arrest and detention of police officers responsible for extrajudicial killings in the past by Police authorities has never been a guarantee of genuine commitment by police authorities to ensure that such unlawful killings of innocent citizens by police officers would be promptly, impartially and effectively investigated with a view to ensuring that perpetrators are prosecuted and victims or their families accorded adequate remedies and compensation. According to
RULAAC, a member of a police team on a stop and search duty shot dead a 27-year-old commercial motorcycle operator at the Banana Junction, Orlu, Imo State on July 9, 2020 ‘for failure to use a face mask and refusal to give a N50 bribe’.
The status of the police investigation promised by the Commissioner of Police, Imo State into this killing, the group recalled is still shrouded in secrecy till date.
RULAAC said: “As in the case of the commercial motorcyclists killed in Orlu, the police officers who shot Mr. Jude Oguzie Mmezi also took to their heels after they committed the murder.
“As in the case of Mr. Jude Oguzie Mmezi, the Imo State Police Command also announced that the police officers, who killed the commercial motorcyclist, had been arrested and detained to face internal disciplinary proceedings. But till date, nothing more has been heard of that case.”
The group said the increasing incidents of Police misuse of firearms and extrajudicial killing across the country were very disturbing.
“These developments, coming so soon after the experience of the #EndSARS protests, give serious cause for concern and appears to be encouraged by illegal police orders banning civic protests, and the often repeated directives to police officers by the IGP to use force to quell protests.
“Ultimately, it is indicative that the Police have learnt no lessons from the #EndSARS experience. It was never expected that such high number of cases of unprovoked and unlawful police killings, would so soon be recorded in Nigeria post the EndSARS protest,” the group said.
Recounting the incidents across some States, the group said in Ekiti State, drunk Policemen shot a man dead at Queens Court Hotel along AdoIkere Road, Ekiti State in the night of Saturday, November 21, 2020.
They claimed that a team of drunk officers drove into the hotel, allegedly threatened to kill some of the guests and opened fire all of a sudden and one of the hotel guests, a young man named Olaoye Abayomi, was killed.
In Imo State, RULAAC said: “On Saturday, December 5, 2020, Mr. Mmezi, a native of Umuamusa Autonomous Community (Old Amucha) in Njaba LGA of Imo State was killed by a team of policemen at a checkpoint somewhere at Orodo, Mbaitolu LGA, Imo State.
“In Rivers State, on Thursday, December 10, 2020 youths in Rukpoku and Rumuodomayah communities in Obio Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State were reported to have occupied the streets in protest, following the killing of a commercial tricycle operator by police officers.
“It was reported that a policeman around Rukpoku asked the Keke driver for ₦100 bribe, which the driver could not provide. The police officer was said to have fired point blank at the driver killing him on the spot. The death of the tricycle operator provoked the youths and other members of the community who set burnfires on the streets in protest.”
RULAAC explained that the protest in Rukpoku snowballed into a full blown riot and spread to neighbouring Rumuodomaya community.
Another person, the group added, was reported to have been shot dead, following confrontations between the protesting youths and the police.
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