*Vows to tackle rising cases of violations by personnel
*As CLEEN Foundation launches complaints platform for citizens
Senator Iroegbu and Godsgift Onyedinefu
The Nigeria police force has frowned at the abuse of citizens’ rights by its personnel and other law enforcement agents, with a pledge to synergize with relevant agencies and civil society organizations to put an end to incidents of human rights violations in the country.
Mohammed Adamu, Inspector General of Police (IGP), said policing is centred around the protection, promotion and preservation of human rights, and it therefore becomes a paradox when security agents are caught abusing citizens rights while discharging their duties.
The IGP made these remarks on Wednesday, during a virtual unveiling of “Automated Complaint Reporting Database and Training of Human Rights Desk Officers in Nigeria” by the CLEEN Foundation and supported by Open Society Foundations (OSIWA) .
Adamu, who was represented by DCP. Frank Mba, Force Public Relations Officer, said the police will support the new platform to ensure accountability of security agents in exercising the their power and tackle impunity on issues around the violation of the rights of citizens.
“We will work with to you to strengthen a regime that will discourage the violation of the rights of Nigerians and the rights of members of the law enforcement community. We assure you of our absolute support of this initiative in discouraging the violation of rights of citizens”, he said.
He however noted that citizens also assault law enforcement personnel and should therefore be put into consideration.
Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), said he is worried that security agents Countering Violent Extremism carry out arbitrary arrest, rape, unlawful detention and gender based violence against citizens.
Ojukwu assured that the complaint response unit of the Nigeria police force, the human right desk of the Army, the, NHRC, ministry of defence and other agencies will work together to look into the cases of human rights violations and provide quick redress to victims.
He stressed that Security agencies, while discharging their duties must take into consideration the respect for the rights of suspects nd citizens.
The NHRC boss said the automated complaints reporting database will provide citizens the opportunity to report any form of violations of their rights by the security agencies.
“It will also provide citizens with real time methods to report human rights violations. The platform will provide victims of human rights violations with the opportunity to report, video, audio and pictorial evidence in proof on any human rights violation”, he added.
He also noted that the aim of the project is in line with the strategic partnership between NHRC and CLEEN foundation, which seeks to ensure effective nd efficient redress of human rights violations perpetrated by security agents while Countering Violent Extremism.
Ojukwu, therefore urged members of the public to make good use of the platform to report human rights violation, saying it will go a long way to protect the rights of everyone living in Nigeria.
Benson Oluigbo, Executive Director of CLEEN Foundation, also explained that the platform will ensure documentation and follow up on human rights abuses in the enforcement of government directives on COVID-19 and other related regulations. Olugbuo reiterated that security agents killed more citizens that Coronavirus while enforcing lockdown directives.
He also said the platform will document rights violations within the context of inter and intra security agency personnel abuses, which, according to him has reareed it’s ugly head in the last few years.
Suleiman Yusuf, lead consultant of the project added that the platform will reduce prevalence of Hana rights abuse and increase public confidence in security operatives.
Suleiman also informed the platform is user friendly irrespective of location or level of education.