The Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Centre (CISLAC) has condemned the rising extra-judicial activities by officers of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) which continues unabated as manifested in the recent killing of an innocent Nigerian, Kolade Johnson, at a football viewing centre in Lagos, during a raid to arrest a suspected offender in his neighbourhood.
The Executive Director, CISLAC, Auwal Musa Rafsanjani, who was represented by the program manager, CISLAC, Okeke Onya said it is disturbing that hitherto lack of adequate justice for the prevalent extra-judicial activities has discriminatorily enhanced unchecked dehumanization, human rights violation, and disproportionate response by the Police Force to especially civil cases.
According to him, while the Police has a fundamental mandate to secure and protect the citizens, the persistently unjust physical and mental torture experienced and reported by innocent citizens across the country demonstrate otherwise, hence the need for immediate operational review and re-alignment to accommodate well-defined rule of engagement in its dealing with civil cases.
“We are worried on the ruthless and ill-thought response by the Police in addressing civil cases, just as we bemoan needless brutalities leading to the untimely death and dehumanization of innocent citizens and arrogant display of lawlessness by the institution.
“It is worrisome that poor intelligent gathering, inefficiency, and inadequate response capacity by the security forces have largely paved way for pervasive criminal activities and other social vices that remain unaddressed despite ceaseless public outcries.
“We are convinced that immediate passage of the awaiting Police Reform Bill by the National Assembly has become paramount to restore sanity and sanctity in the activities of the Police; and legitimately constrain and penalize Police operatives in the country against such undemocratic decision that to pull their guns while apprehending defenceless offenders of law or push citizens into custodial black holes without proper procedures,” Rafsanjani said.
He demanded prompt response by the relevant authorities to investigate the recent ruthless killing of the innocent citizen at football viewing centre in Lagos and reported cases in other places with appreciable and transparent effort to bring the perpetrators to justice.
He also call for the immediate passage of the pending Police Reform Bill to criminalize human rights violation by the Police; ensure stringent safeguards to protect human rights; define a positive legal framework for effective policing, ensuring proper and lawful arrests generally, without unnecessary restraints; conducting lawful searches of criminal suspects; and examination and detention of suspects in humane holding facilities, with their rights to bail secured.