The inspector-general of police, IGP Usman Baba, has vowed to punish any erring police officer, who is found guilty of violating human rights.
Speaking at a meeting with senior police officers in Abuja on Wednesday, the IGP charged police officers to ensure that they maintain and uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and also the Oath of their offices as anything below this will not be tolerated.
He said: “For the avoidance of doubt, much as the law has bestowed on us certain powers and authorities to aid in the attainment of our law enforcement mandate, the exercise of these powers and authority is not absolute and you shall at every point of the misuse of such, be held accountable. My covenant with Nigerians and our service oath is to uphold the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is built on the projection and protection of the rights and well-being of all citizens.
“I must, therefore, sound out this warning loud and clear that under my watch, any police officer that betrays his or her Service oath and tramples on the rights of citizens he or she has sworn to serve and protect, will be identified, isolated and dealt with promptly, firmly, transparently, and in a manner that will leave neither the citizens nor the police personnel in doubt about my determination to separate the bad officers from the professional ones in the interest of the Force.
“It is in furtherance to this that approval was given some days ago for the dismissal and de-kitting of ex-Inspector Richard Gelle who was caught in a viral video dignifying and justifying extortion of members of the public. Some other of such viral videos including that of a police operative that was physically and violently assaulting a citizen with cutlass in Cross River State are being reviewed and I can assure that similar prompt disciplinary action will be initiated against the erring officers and the outcome made public in due course.”
The IGP also called on the police officers to be vigilant and guard against the threat from terrorists in recent times.
According to the IGP, “an evaluation of the security situation in the country in recent times shows a concerning trend of an increase in the threat posed to the nation by terror elements, bandits, kidnappers, and other highly organised, and violent criminal syndicates. The trend is being compounded by the increasing rate of arms trafficking and proliferation. This has of late occasioned an attack on the Correctional Facility in Kuje during which some high-profile criminals escaped.
“While the Police in conjunction with the other security agencies have succeeded in re-arresting some of the fleeing felons and have enhanced the security of the facility, this incident, and the increasing violent campaigns by armed groups in the country have led to general apprehension among the citizens and continue to present a major threat to our national security.”