The Prominent Civil Rights Advocacy group: HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA (HURIWA) is tasking the offices of the Inspector General of police and Attorney general of the Federation to stop playing pranks with Nigerians regarding parading of high-profile criminals, like suspected Fulani militia members and armed Fulani herdsmen. This is because in the past couple of years the two previous Inspector General of Police IGP including the newly appointed IGP are used to parading high profile suspects especially from the North, mostly Fulanis (Sheikh Ahmed Gumi also seconded this claim) but as soon as this media charades are over, Nigerians no longer know what happened to the paraded suspects.
Besides, the Rights group has rejected the justification for indiscriminate arrests of Igbo Youths in Imo State made by Police Commissioner and has stated that indiscriminate arrests amount to arbitrary and unlawful policing conduct which is totally unconstitutional.
Imo State Police Commissioner had defended the State Command’s Modus Operandi of indiscriminate arrests on the ground that indiscriminate crimes lead to indiscriminate arrests even as the group dismissed the justification as nebulous untenable and infantile.
The Commissioner of Police in Imo State, Abutu Yaro, on Wednesday, explained why security operatives were embarking on indiscriminate arrests in the state.
Speaking when the Orlu branch of the Nigerian Bar Association visited him in his office at the Police Command headquarters in Owerri, the CP disclosed that security operatives were working had to restore peace in the state.
Yaro explained that the “emergency situation” in the state had led to the incessant arrests the security agents were undertaking in the state.
Commending the NBA for partnering with the command in the fight against insecurity in the state, the CP said that the Easter Monday jailbreak at Owerri Correctional Centre had worsened insecurity in the state.
The CP said, “People have raised concern about the incessant arrests in the state, but what people do not know is that incessant crimes lead to incessant arrests. In the last few months, Imo has been tagged an emergency or red flag state but we must work hard to restore peace and confidence in the state.
“We are not unaware that political enterprise is part of the crisis situation in Imo State. The Insecurity in Imo State has a political undertone. In the last 48 hours, the house of the state Commissioner of Information was destroyed. Someone somewhere told them to do that simply because she( Commissioner) is serving Imo State Government.”
The Rights group has therefore urged for intelligence-led policing so that arrests of citizens must be made when there is unassailable evidence-based and empirical data to link the person to the crimes. Indiscriminate arrests lead to indiscriminate violations of Human Rights and no sane society should tolerate such unlawful policing conduct.
Condemning the practice by Inspector General of Police of parading suspects and then no prosecution would follow, HURIWA said: “So, it is of no moments that the office of the Inspector General of Police IGP is in the habit of parading suspects in what is clearly media dramas to hoodwink members of the public to believe that the police is working.
“It is deceptive and dubious that the office of the IGP will continue to parade herdsmen, kidnappers bandits and will not follow through with the prosecution and we suspect that these paraded suspects are eventually freed to return to the criminal enterprises.
“We also think that the media is doing a lot of disservice to the Nigerians because they will always be there to cover the parade and help in legitimising these media charades and disappear without following up with further process of prosecution. Why is the media not asking the IGP and the Attorney General of the Federation question on why they will always parade suspects, engage un illegal media trial without proper prosecution?”
“Apparently, it is only the Billionaire kidnapper from the East that has been prosecuted. So the IGP should tell Nigerians where the paraded suspects are.
The prosecution of the kidnapper from Taraba Alhaji Wadume which the AGF is handling has suddenly gone cold so on behalf of the masses of this Country, we are telling the IGP that enough is enough on the ongoing charade of parading without prosecution.”
COMRADE EMMANUEL ONWUBIKO:
HUMAN RIGHTS WRITERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA 🇳🇬 (HURIWA).
June 9th 2021.