As part of efforts to strengthen police reform in the country, police stations across the country are to be visited to monitor their compliance with human rights standards.
The visits to the police stations have been scheduled from between 21 and 25 February.
Speaking in Abuja on Wednesday at the opening of a training programme for visitors who will be participating in the Police Station Visitors Week (PSVW), the Executive Secretary, National Human Rights Commission, Tony Ojukwu disclosed that the project is part of a larger project on strengthening police reform in Nigeria, and it was funded by MacArthur Foundation and implemented by the NHRC in collaboration with the Office of the Vice President, CLEEN Foundation, Network for Police Reforms (NOPRIN), and the Rule of Law and Accountability Advocacy Centre (RULAAC)
Ojukwu said the PSVW is in furtherance of the Commission’s mandate to carry out periodic audit of places of detention across the country to ensure that practices in those places conform with human rights standards.
He said: “It is also aimed at enhancing police accountability, identifying good practices and documenting challenges that may exist, with a view to making recommendations to appropriate authorities for improvement in respect for human rights.”
He revealed that police stations to be visited are selected based on geographical spread and will cover one state per geo-political zone plus Abuja.
The selected states are Sokoto (North West), Bauchi (North East), Benue (North Central), Oyo (South West), Imo (South East), Edo (South South) and FCT.
He noted that in each of the states, six police stations would be identified and visited in collaboration with the NHRC State Offices and other stakeholders at the state level.
He however stressed that: “These audit exercises are not meant to witch-hunt any one or any instruction but aimed at ensuring that human rights are promotes and protected, including the rights of persons in detention.”
Ojukwu said: “May I place on record the readiness of the Police Authority to cooperate with the Commission during these exercises, in recognition of the fact that we are all duty bearers in ensuring a culture for human rights in Nigeria.”
The Project Coordinator and Director of Human Rights Institute (HRI), Ifeoma Wakama urged participants to be attentive during the trading and subsequently take the task ahead of them seriously.
She said they should bear it in mind that they are agents of change and their contributions would go a long way at molding the police of our dream.