The police in Niger state have released a Channels Television cameraman Abdullahi Egba, after almost four hours in detention at the Tafa Divisional Police Station.
He was assaulted and arrested during a protest by youths in Tafa Local Government Area (LGA), who had blocked the Kaduna-Abuja Highway in disapproval to the cancellation of results in the LG poll last weekend.
Mr Egba was released following a directive by the commissioner of police, Adamu Usman, ordering the Divisional Police Officer to set the journalist free.
A former Assistant Director of the Department of State Services (DSS), Dennis Amachree, says now is the right time for the nation’s security challenges to be fixed.
Amachree, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Monday, regretted that insecurity has claimed ‘somebody of significance,’ and called on the Federal Government to urgently address the incessant killings in various parts of the country.
“We are not facing the security problem headlong and I think we should do it now that it has happened to somebody of significant. And of course, this is not kidnapping, this is an assassination that has just taken place looking at all the aspects that have happened in the crime scene.
“It is an assassination and when people start to assassinate, then we are moving into a different chapter of the whole security problem. I can understand kidnapping because they need money.
Mba also added that the investigation will be carried out promptly noting that “justice delayed is justice denied.”
“Nigerians should rest assured that we will not only be professional, but we will also be fair, just and ensure that the right thing is done promptly,” he added.
The CCTV footage of Senator Abbo beating a woman who tried to prevent him from assaulting another woman sparked outrage on Tuesday after it was published by Premium Times. Many Nigerians condemned his action and called for his prosecution, urging the Senate to also discipline him.
Senator Abbo later confirmed to Channels Television that he is indeed the man in the video and that he would release an official statement in reaction to the assault video.
Representing Adamawa North Senatorial District, Abbo later apologised to Nigerians, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and women, in general, saying he is sorry for his action.
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) M.A Adamu has however ordered a comprehensive investigation into the circumstances surrounding the case.
Specifically, the IGP directed the Commissioner of Police in charge of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command, CP Bala Ciroma to provide a personal and round-the-clock supervision of every facet of the investigation including the forensic analysis of the video currently in circulation as well as the actions and inactions of the policeman seen in the video footage.
Amnesty International has decried the alleged use of torture by Nigeria military and police to get information from suspects.
The group said its arm in Nigeria has continued to receive regular reports of torture and other ill-treatment in military and police custody despite an existing law against the use of torture.
This was disclosed on Wednesday in a statement released by Amnesty International in commemoration International Day in Support of Victims of Torture
“Nigerian authorities must do more to end the ongoing use of torture and other forms of ill-treatment by law enforcement agencies.
“Despite recent government measures aimed at reducing the incidence of torture in the country, Amnesty International Nigeria continues to receive regular reports of torture and other ill-treatment in military and police custody. Moreover, victims are still being denied justice, with the Nigerian judicial system failing to prevent or punish torture, perpetuating a culture of impunity,” the statement read in part.
The Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho in the statement added that, although steps have been taken to address torture in Nigeria, including the enactment of the Anti-Torture Act in December 2017 and the setting up of the presidential panel on reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) the use of torture by the police and others is still widespread.
“Our research also shows that despite an existing law against the use of torture, no police officer has been charged under the act. Moreover, the Nigerian police is yet to amend Force Order 237 which allows police officers to shoot at fleeing suspects, giving room for lethal use of force that sometimes leads to extrajudicial killings.
“On 5 March 2018 a high court in Ogidi, Idemili North Local Government Area of Anambra State ordered the Nigeria Police Force to pay compensation to Ugochukwu Oraefo for extortion, illegal arrest, unlawful detention and torture after he was arrested by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) Awkuzu, Anambra state. The police have neither paid the victim nor ensured that the police officers involved have been brought to justice.
“Amnesty International highlighted rampant torture and ill-treatment especially by the SARS police unit in the report: Nigeria: ‘You Have Signed Your Death Warrant’ in 2016, yet shocking incidents of torture still continue. Every now and then videos of police officers or soldiers torturing suspects surface and generate outrage.”
The human rights group said it is time Nigerian authorities declare, in strong terms, that security personnel will be held accountable for torture and that victims of torture will get justice, including rehabilitation and compensation.
In 2018 Nigerian activists launched a nationwide social media campaign #EndSARS, demanding an end to torture and other ill-treatment by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SAR), a special police squad created to fight armed robbery cases. In response, the police authorities acknowledged that SARS has been responsible for widespread violations and announced some reforms, while the government directed the National Human Rights Commission to set up a panel to investigate the activities of SARS.
The panel submitted its report in May 2019.
An Amnesty International poll in May 2019 indicated that 63 percent of poll respondents regard torture and unlawful killings by the police, as the most serious human rights violation they want the government to address.
Operatives of the Operation Puff Adder have paraded 38 suspected kidnappers, armed robbers and cattle rustlers for various criminal activities.
Among the suspects is a nursing mother suspected to be involved in high-level kidnapping and car snatching in various parts of the north and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Parading them in Abuja, the Force Public Relations Officer, Mr. Frank Mba said the other members of the kidnap gang that abducted the Chairman of the Universal Basic Education commission along Kaduna Abuja high-way are among the 38 suspects
“Operatives from the Intelligence Response Team (IRT), as well as Operatives from the Special Tactical Squad (STS) who are integral and very important components of the Operation Puff Adder scheme within this period, were able to arrest 38 suspects, one of them a female.
“All of these persons that we are presenting to you today have been positively been indicted by our investigations in one way or the other, in various crimes particularly in kidnapping, armed robbery, crime theft, cattle rustling, unlawful possession of firearms, illicit manufacturing and fabrication of weapons, attempts to commit culpable homicide and in some clear cases actual homicide,” he stated.
Mba also explained that the police succeeded in intercepting 28 trucks loaded with grains meant to be delivered to bandits in Zamfara State.
A survey conducted by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has revealed that the Nigeria Police and the Power Sector are the most corrupt public institutions in Nigeria.
The survey which was launched by Professor Akin Oyebode on Tuesday in Lagos said the exercise captured responses of Nigerians and 70 percent placed the Judiciary, Education and Health ministries next, to complete a top five list.
Oyebode noted that; “Nigeria is looked upon as a giant of Africa. Yet Nigeria could not conduct free, fair and credible elections. It is a smear on the image of Nigeria. If we do away with selective enforcement and condonation of corruption, we will build and live in a better society. Corruption is a refined form of stealing. The politicians are stealing our common patrimony. Development of the people is almost inversely proportional to the level of corruption.”
However, the survey highlighted that the high levels of corruption in public institutions in Nigeria had not changed in the last five years.
According to the survey, “a bribe is paid in 54% of interactions with the police. In fact, there is a 63% probability that an average Nigerian would be asked to pay a bribe each time he or she interacted with the police. That is almost two out of three.”
“Corruption remains a significant impediment to law enforcement, access to justice and basic public services such as affordable healthcare, education, and electricity supply. Several Nigerians have to pay a bribe to access police, judiciary, power, education and health services. Corruption is still a key concern in the country with 70% of Nigerians describing the level of corruption as high and in the same measure, stating that corruption levels either increased or remained the same in the last five years.”
“The police were the most adversely ranked on this indicator. For every 100 police interactions reported by the respondents, there was a bribe paid in 54 interactions. The prevalence levels stood at 37% in the power sector and 18% in education, 17.7% in the judiciary and 14% in the health sector.”
The survey urged the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, The Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council should investigate complaints of bribery and corruption against police officers and review all outstanding cases of judicial corruption.
“The Inspector General of Police should receive and investigate complaints of bribery and corruption against police officers filed by members of the public. The police should liaise with community leaders and civil society organisations in regard to incidents of police bribery and corruption within the community.”
“The Chief Justice of Nigeria and the National Judicial Council should identify and review all outstanding cases of judicial corruption and refer such cases to appropriate anti-corruption agencies. They should apply the Code of Conduct for Judicial Officers in a consistent and transparent manner, with full respect for the fundamental guarantees of fair trial and due process.”
According to SERAP, the survey targeted a total of 2,655 respondents selected from seven states spread across the six geo-political zones of Nigeria and the capital city of Abuja.
Mba added that Gioli’s arrest was in line with a directive by the acting Inspector General of Police, AG. IGP Mohammed Adamu, for the “immediate arrest, comprehensive investigation and diligent prosecution of all persons involved in the incident on Sunday”.
The police spokesman informed that efforts are ongoing to apprehend other members of the gang involved in the “unwholesome” attack on the officer.
The police urged members of the public to conduct themselves in the most appropriate manner, even as the nation goes into the Governorship/House of Assembly Elections slated for Saturday, March 9.
The Nigeria Police force has paraded 16 suspected kidnappers and ritualists.
The Force Public Relations Officer, Deputy Commissioner Of Police, Jimoh Moshood, while parading the suspects in Abuja on Saturday vowed that the suspects will be prosecuted, once found guilty by a court of law.
Moshood said the suspects confessed to killing and butchering their victims after kidnapping them.
He added that the suspects also confessed to delivering the body parts of their victims to sponsors who give them huge sums of money in return.
“During interrogation, the gang leader Yakubu Hamidu and his members now in Police custody confessed to the crime and admitted that they were responsible and working for Alhaji Ibrahim Alli aka Allims and Alhaji Sharibu Adamu aka Aye Marina whom they hand over the body parts to after killing their victims and severing the body parts,” he said.
According to him, the suspects confessed to have killed many persons in Ankpa, Kogi State including a Police Inspector attached to Ejule Police Outpost in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.
He added that other suspects linked to the crime but still at large will be arrested and prosecuted.
It said, “The Nigerian police must immediately and unconditionally release journalist Samuel Ogundipe, who has been in unlawful police detention since yesterday.
“Reports that police detained Samuel Ogundipe with the intention of forcing him to reveal his sources are extremely disturbing and illustrate the level of harassment and intimidation that Nigerian journalists face.
“The duty of journalists is not to please the authorities – it is to share information in the interest of the public, and forcing journalists to reveal their sources is illegal.”
Amnesty International urged the Nigerian police to focus on maintaining law and order and allow journalists to perform their jobs free from fear of reprisals.
According to the human rights organisation, the arrest of Ogundipe is part of a concerted crackdown on Premium Times and its members of staff by Nigerian police.
“On Monday, police physically assaulted Editor in Chief Muskilu Mojeed and briefly detained reporter Azeezat Adedigba,” it claimed.
It, therefore, called on the Nigerian authorities to respect and ensure human rights and instruct the agencies to desist from harassing and intimidating Premium Times staff and other journalists and media organisations.
The Nigeria Police Force has explained why 30,000 police personnel will be in Ekiti State for the Saturday, July 14 governorship elections.
The Force Spokesperson, Jimoh Moshood, who was a guest on Channels Television Breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily said Ekiti State is a ‘flashpoint’ and deploying 30,000 officers for the election is not an over-deployment but an adequate figure to ensure security.
“Ekiti is a flashpoint when it comes to politicking, you can remember what happened in the second republic, we don’t want a repeat of that. When the election is free and fair and election result is being announced, you still see people that want to disrupt the peace of other Nigerians.
“There is no over deployment in 30,000 police personnel, it is an adequate figure to ensure that everybody that has one business or the other that is authorised to play there role during the elections.”
Moshood, who is also a deputy commissioner of police explained further that the number of personnel deployed is not peculiar to Ekiti State only as same was done during Edo and Anambra elections.
He noted that the action was also prompted by ‘inciting’ statements by political leaders in Ekiti State.
“It is not only peculiar to Ekiti, in Edo, we deployed 25,000 police personnel. In Ondo, we deployed 26,000 and in Anambra, the same 26,000. We have carried out a threat analysis assessment throughout Ekiti State and we have confidence in our personnel to deliver appropriately.
“The utterance of stakeholders and leaders in Ekiti and other areas have been inciting and instigating. We want people to have the confidence that the police is capable of securing them, and for them to be free to come out and vote. We want the will of the people to carry the day.
He added that security measures include not only the deployment of 30,000 officers but also, the Commissioner of Police in states such as Kogi, Kwara, Osun, Ondo and Oyo have been put on red alert and directed by the IGP to deploy massively and ensure that there is no influence and influx of hoodlums and miscreants infiltrating from their states into Ekiti to disrupt the poll.
The Inspector General of Police Ibrahim Idris on Sunday announced that 30,000 police personnel will be deployed to Ekiti State ahead of the governorship election.
Those deployed include personnel of the Police Mobile Force (PMF) Unit, Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), Special Protection Unit (SPU), Anti-Bomb Squad (EOD), Conventional Policemen, Armament Unit, FCIID, and the sniffer dogs section.
Four policemen and two security operatives from other agencies would be on duty at each polling unit throughout the state while the PMF to be headed by a very senior officer would provide security at the RAC, Super RAC and collation centres.
Two Patrol Surveillance Helicopters, five additional Armoured Personnel Carriers, 10 Armoured Personnel Vehicles and 250 Police patrol vehicles are also deployed throughout the state, including difficult terrains.