The House of Representatives has passed a resolution to invite the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu and the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Abdullahi Gana Muhammadu.
The resolution of the House was reached following a motion by the Deputy Majority Whip, Nkeiruka Onyejeocha on the need to investigate the spate of accidental discharge by security personnel and to forestall the killing of innocent Nigerians due to mishandling of firearms.
Four police officers have been arrested for killing two suspected phone thieves.
The policemen, attached to Iba Division Patrol team, were seen to have shot at the suspects in a video which went viral on Tuesday.
In a statement issued on Wednesday by the Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Bala Elkana, the officers were identified as Inspector Fabiyi Omomayara, Sergeant Olaniyi Solomon, Sergeant Solomon Sunday and Corporal Aliyu Mukaila.
According to the statement, the two robbery suspects had already been arrested and should have been taken to the Police Station for the normal process of investigation and prosecution to be initiated as stipulated under procedural laws.
Elkana said at about 3:00 pm on August 19, the Iba Police Station had received a distress call from one Anugu Valentine, that he was attacked by a group of armed men numbering about four on two motorcycles at Ipayi area, and they stole an iPhone max from him, valued at N450,000.
Shortly after, the Divisional Police Officer, Iba promptly deployed the Divisional Patrol team to the scene.
Subsequently, two of the armed robbers were arrested while the other two escaped. they were said to be part of a gang notorious for series of robberies in Iba and environs.
Two locally made pistols with six life cartridges and five expended cartridges were also recovered.
While the police celebrated the arrest of the two suspects, it, however, condemned their killing saying it “falls short of police professional standards and cannot be condoned by the Command”.
“The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Zubairu Muazu mni has ordered a thorough investigation into the incident.
“The police officers are currently subjected to internal disciplinary proceedings known as Orderly Room trial and if found culpable, they will be dismissed from the Force and will be handed over to the State Criminal Investigation Department Yaba for prosecution in the conventional Court,” the statement read.
The Special Board of Inquiry investigating the allegations of extra-judicial killings by some soldiers in North-East Nigeria has refuted the claims levelled against them by Amnesty International.
The Nigerian Army Chief of Civil/ Military Affairs, Major General Nuhu Angbazo, disclosed this to reporters on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.
He said all the soldiers mentioned in the report have been investigated and none of them engaged in any extra-judicial killing or human rights abuse of suspected insurgents.
The board expressed concerns about the position of the Amnesty International which it said has led to the suspension of visas of some senior military officers who defended the Army on the allegations of human rights violation.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has called on security agencies involved in the fight against insurgents to abide by their rules of engagement by respecting the rights of civilians during operations.
The Executive Secretary of NHRC, Professor Bem Angwe, made the call on Tuesday in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
Professor Angwe was delivering a speech at the 3rd National Human Rights Commission /Nigerian Military Dialogue on Human Rights.
He said that there should be a balance between military necessity and human rights protection during conflicts.
The NHRC boss also advised civilians to respect the military authorities who are out to protect the lives and property of all Nigerians.
In his remark, the Nigerian Army Chief of Civil-Military Relations, Major General Rogers Nicholas, described the allegations against the military as untrue.
He insisted that the Nigerian Army respects the rules of engagement as enshrined in the 1999 Constitution.
The Director of Civil-Military Relations of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Afam Chukwu, also reaffirmed the commitment of the Air Force to the protection of peoples’ rights.
Issues of alleged extra-judicial killings were further discussed but this was done behind closed doors.
The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has summoned the Nigerian Army, the Police and the management of Madonna University to bring officers of the various organization alleged to have tortured and violated the rights of civilians.
The Executive Secretary of the commission, Professor Bem Angwe, summoned officials of the commission over some newspaper publications showing pictures of violation and molestation of individuals by the officers of the said organizations.
According to Professor Angwe, failure to appear before the commission within 72 hours would attract the full weight of the law as provided by the NHRC Act.
Reacting to the order, Director, Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, said that the incident was highly regrettable and that investigations were being carried out in line with military regulations after which they would be released to the commission.
He, however, explained that the incident does not give credence to earlier allegation of violation of human rights by the Nigerian Army and it is by no means a reflection of the military.
In recent times, there had been reports of alleged extra-judicial killings by the Police and torture by the military.
The NHRC believes that if Nigerians report such cases to the appropriate authorities, the menace would be nipped in the bud.
The House of Representatives has urged the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Solomon Arase, to beef up his strategies towards arresting the rising spate of kidnappings across the country.
The lawmakers have also tasked the Federal Government to reopen investigations into cases of extra-judicial killings and other high profile murders alleged to have been committed by Police officers and personnel of other security agencies.
Among such cases are the Apo 6 and the alleged invasion of Ogoni land by mobile policemen and armed soldiers.
In a motion raised on the floor of the House, soliciting legislative support for the call for justice by Nigerians, a lawmaker, Kingsley Chinda said that the efforts of successive administrations to tackle extra-judicial killings have been ineffective.
The House then urged the Nigeria Police Force to be more alive to its responsibilities in the prevention and proper investigation of crimes.
The Northern Elders Forum (NEF), has threatened to drag the immediate past Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Azubuike Ihejirika, and some other top military officers to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague for alleged extra-judicial killings.
The news comes barely 48 hours after President Goodluck Jonathan removed the nation’s service chiefs from office.
The Northern Elders in a communique signed by its spokesman, Professor Ango Abdullahi, at the end of its meeting in Kaduna, accused the outgoing Chief of Army Staff and six others of alleged extra-judicial killings and strangulation of civilians by soldiers in Bama and Giwa Barracks in Borno State, using an underground detention centre.
While the statement did not mention the six other persons involved, Abdullahi said that the forum had earlier set up two investigative committees to probe the use of soldiers against civilians in Bama and some parts of Borno State.
“The Forum has therefore resolved to harmonise the reports of the two committees, preparatory to filing a case of extra-judicial killings by the Nigerian Army under the then Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Azubuike Ihejirika and six others.
“The reports will be harmonised at our emergency meeting in Abuja on Wednesday the 22nd of January 2014, for further action”, the statement read.
Two male residents of the Mafoloku area of Oshodi in Lagos were allegedly shot dead on Sunday, 6th of October by men of the Nigeria Police, who are yet to be identified.
In a report by Channels Television, it was revealed the 31 year old Ganiyu who was watching a football game was shot dead while attempting to enter the bar where a match was being watched by other residents and football fans.
An eyewitness, Abdulwaheed Okeowo who witnessed the incident, revealed that one of two policemen who sat in the back of the patrol van allegedly shot his gun and Rafiu was hit in the left side of his chest.
However, in an earlier encounter, the other victim identified as Rafiu Adeniji, had been shot by policemen after an altercation involving a commercial bus driver whose vehicle had been hit.
Unfortunately, Mr Rafiu’s six year old daughter, Mariam had witnessed the killing of her father as she was in the car.
Rafiu was allegedly killed after a confrontation with the policemen over an accident that happened along the Mangoro end of Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway. Ms. Adeniji said “My daddy was driving home when someone hit his car.”
An account by another eyewitness stated that a white police patrol vehicle with the inscription, OPS Attack, was chasing a commercial bus which Adeniji allowed to pass.
“We continued on our journey but after a while, we found ourselves behind the same bus. Suddenly, the driver of the bus applied his brake.” Unfortunately for Adeniji, he couldn’t stop his car fast enough as his vehicle was said to have hit the bus from behind.
An argument was said to have ensued between the bus driver and Adeniji after the motorist demanded payment for the repair of the bus. The deceased allegedly told the bus driver to blame the policemen for causing the accident. “The policemen were parked on the side of the road and when Rafiu approached them to discuss what had happened, one of them alighted and was alledged to have shot him in the chest before fleeing.
Mr Adeniji was reportedly pronounced dead at two separate hospitals after which residents in the area protested and planned to burn down the station, this allegation was according to a top official of the Makinde Police station in Oshodi.
This led to the Police Division calling for reinforcements.
However, the invited policemen reportedly began shooting sporadically into the air which led to Ganiyu’s death.
A resident, Adebayo Bamgbose who was with Ganiyu when he was hit by a stray bullet, told Channels Television that the two of them were about stepping into the aforementioned bar when he was hit by a bullet.
He said that there was no uproar in the area, adding that the policemen kept on shooting even after Ganiyu fell down.
The Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has condemned the killing of four students of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi, and injuring of numerous others by armed soldiers and mobile policemen for protesting lack of water and electricity in the university. In a statement emailed to Channels Television, the organisation said that it gathered from its sources in the university that for over three weeks, the university community had suffered non-availability of water and electricity supply without the authorities of the University either explaining the reasons for the lack of the essential amenities to the students and the entire community or making efforts to fix the problem or make alternative arrangement for the supply of the amenities before the students embarked on a peaceful protest to drive home their demand.
The statement said, “Angered by the students’ legitimate action, CLO learnt, the university authorities were said to have mobilised armed military and police personnel into the campus to forcefully kill and maim the students reminiscent of the 1986 ABU massacre. On the arrival of these armed soldiers and policemen on the university premises, they started shooting sporadically during which time four students were mowed down to death and several others injured.
“We are shocked at this barbaric action of the university authorities, especially deploying military officers to employ the use of excessive force to quell civil protest by armless students. CLO recalls that similar event had occurred in Ebonyi State early this year when the students of Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, protested against over 300 percent increase in tuition and service fees by the university authorities in which CLO vehemently condemned the wickedness and called on the state government to investigate the crisis and bring culprits to book.
“In the similar manner, CLO hugely condemns the lawless and primitive actions of the authorities of the Nasarawa State University, Keffi and calls on the CPC-led government in Nasarawa State to urgently set up a Commission of Enquiry which will include students’ true representatives, members of credible civil society organisations, the NBA, NUJ and National Human Rights Commission to probe into the crisis in order to get to root of the mayhem, discover and punish the perpetrators in line with the laws of our land, pay adequate compensations to the families of victims and their families and recommend ways to forestall future occurrences.”
The Commissioner of Police, Enugu State Police Command, Tonye Ebitibituwa has reminded officers and men in his command of the need to be professional and diligent in the performance of their duties in order to earn the confidence of the members of the public. He said his administration would not tolerate corruption, laxity and indiscipline, adding that Divisional Police Officers and Heads of Department whose division or formation excelled in these areas as well as in the general cleanliness of offices and environment, in addition to their crime prevention efforts, would be adequately rewarded.
Mr. Ebitibituwa disclosed this on Monday at the state command headquarters in Enugu during an interactive forum with his Area Commanders, Divisional Police Officers and other heads of department and sections.
The Commissioner further reminded officers on the need to be neutral during investigation of cases.
He said his administration will partner with relevant stakeholders in the business of securing lives and properties in Enugu State.
Mr Ebitibituwa warned that policemen should always use their arms in line with the conditions recognised by the Police Force to avoid cases of extra judicial killings which are often times described as accidental discharge.
The Commissioner finally warned against illegal and long detention of persons by any officer as anyone caught will not be spared.
Mr Ebitibituwa was transferred from Kebbi to Enugu on 18th February as commissioner of police, taking over from Musa A. Daura who has been redeployed to Kano State as commissioner of police.
The Senate committee on Police and National Security Affairs has commenced investigation into the bizarre incident at Ezu river where twenty two decomposed bodies were found floating.
The six-member delegation led by Senator Paulinus Igwe Nwagu paid a courtesy call on Kenneth Okonkwo, the traditional ruler of Amansea, the community mostly affected by the odd event, from where they proceeded to Ezu River, the scene of the incident.
The intriguing part of the exercise took place at the conference Hall of the Government House, Awka, where the Senate committee with its chairman, Mohammed Mangoro but led by Senator Nwagu, thoroughly cross examined relevant government functionaries and members of the public to extract information that could lead to the unravelling of the mystery of the decomposed floating corpses spotted at Ezu River on the 19th of January this year.
The Anambra state governor who was represented by the deputy governor expressed his appreciation to the committee and thanked the federal government for deeming it fit to assist the state in getting to the root of the matter.
The leader of the delegation, Senator Nwagu cleared the air on the purpose of the probe and the grilling began with the state commissioner for Health, Lawrence Ikeakor But it did not commence until after oath-taking which was made compulsory to show the seriousness of the exercise.
The health commissioner said it would take 48 hours for a body to decompose and autopsy examination can take one day, one year depending on the circumstance.
The Anambra State Commissioner of Police absolved himself and his men of the blames of the burial of the dead men as he also denied the arrest of MASSOB members, even though the Director of communications for MASSOB countered the police commissioner’s statement of not arresting any MASSOB member at any date or time last year and directly accused the SARS Division in Awkuzu for the crime.
Yet another Lawyer stepped forward with more revealing information pertaining to the activities in Awkuzu SARS office where his kinsmen; an elderly man was killed extra-judicially by the police in the SARS office. He specifically mentioned the name of the police officer in charge at the Awkuzu SARS station, Celestine Ani.
His presentation left all dumbfounded and the Senate committee concluded that issues arising be taken really serious with investigation and the legal practitioner’s account of the events at the SARS office must be taken seriously as it is a credible clue to unravelling the mystery of the Ezu River floating bodies.