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Commission Decries Upsurge In Extrajudicial Killings

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The South East Zonal Coordinator, National Human Rights Commission, Uche Nwokocha has raised the alarm over the rising unbridled cases of Police brutality, extortion and extra judicial killings in the zone.

Barrister Nwokocha noted that indiscriminate police check points on the roads in the area not only impeded free flow of traffic but also  caused avoidable accidents.

The national human rights commission coordinator stated this yesterday at a one day forum on “Public tribunal on Police brutally, corruption and abuse in  Nigeria organised by NOPRIN Foundation (with support from trust Africa) held in  Owerri, capital of Imo State.

He disclosed that the national human rights commission is doing her best to contain the excesses of the police, including extra judicial-killings and wanton destruction of people’s properties with impunity, adding that the commission is already in partnership with some relevant government agencies and the amnesty international to end the scourge.

In his address, National coordinator of  NOPRIN, Okechukwu Nwanguma  stated that as a body committed towards providing opportunities for  civil society involvement in police reform and the enhancement  of safety and security in the country that the organisation has been organizing public tribunals across the nation’s geopolitical zones as part of its advocacy strategies to mobilize public opinion against the culture of impunity.

He disclosed that the Public hearing is part of NOPRIN contributions to the on-going advocacy and efforts to reform and to transform the nation’s police from a brutal regime force to a democratic, professional, citizen-friendly, effective and accountable, police that serves and protects the rights and  interest of the people.

“We also seek to use the tribunal to sensitize and to assist police oversight agencies to fulfill their statutory oversight and disciplinary mandates more effectively and timely by providing opportunity for victims and survivors of police abuse and law enforcement atrocities to testify before a panel of eminent Nigerians and to seek redress through internal control systems and external accountability mechanisms.

Nwaguma said that the tribunal also helped to highlight the  patterns and prevalence of human rights abuse by the police and other security and law enforcement agencies in the country.

The NOPRIN national coordinator who enumerated instances of  extra-judicial killings by the police across the country  said that perpetrators of the heinous crime must be subjected to criminal trial with transparent and effective  investigations.

He also stressed the need to audit the personnel, meant to identify, isolate and weed out those who were not even qualified in the first place to be recruited .

Additionally, Nwaguma said that there is the need to review the recruitment process  including the qualification criteria and strict compliance with laid down criteria and guideline for recruitment so that misfits would no longer easily find their way into the police as has been the case.

“Appropriate training for officers including arms handling is urgent to check misuse of firearms and other abuses which result in killings across the country”, he concluded.

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