Alleged Harassment and Killings of Innocent Citizens: Police must call its Personnel to Order
I am deeply saddened by the unnecessary and avoidable waste of lives and injuries caused to protesting indigenes of Amassoma Town, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and others, allegedly by men of the Nigerian Police since Tuesday, 22 May,2018.
According to reports and the statement issued by the Yenagoa branch of NBA, the victims were made up indigenes of Amassoma community and others who were protesting the unceremonious disengagement of workers from the services of Niger Delta University.
The policemen deployed to maintain order, were said to have allegedly deployed brute force, using guns and live bullets to disperse the protesters which resulted in the death of some innocent and helpless citizens and causing injuries to many.
It appears the Nigerian Police believes that the use of force on innocent citizens remains the only way to carry out its statutory duties. This is totally unlawful, unacceptable, a threat to our democracy and a breach of the citizens fundamental rights as provided for by the Nigerian constitution.
It is quite unfortunate that while we are yet to recover from the shock of the desecration of the High Court complex in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by political thugs, allegedly aided by men of the police and the recent invasion of a Customary Court sitting in Rumi, Kaduna State, threatening the presiding judge with guns and whisking away a testifying witness; our collective sensitivity is further assaulted by this unprofessional act by men alleged to be members of the Nigerian Police Force.
I join my voice with that of the Nigerian Bar Association, Yenagoa and Zaria branches to call on the Nigerian Police high command to investigate these atrocities allegedly committed by its personnel and bring the perpetrators to book. The police must act decisively against these set of personnel who take delight in inflicting pain and hardship on innocent citizens, before they turn our country to a land where life is short and brutish.
Arthur Obi Okafor, SAN,FCIArb, FICMC
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