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Group threatens to sue IGP, others over failure to arraign suspects

By Ameh Ochojila, Abuja
22 November 2022   |   4:03 am
A Civil Society Organisation, Sterling Law Centre has threatened to sue the Inspector General Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, and other agencies for failure to arraign suspects over human rights violations of a Nigerian, Patrick Okachi.

[files] Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba. Photo/FACEBOOKTHENIGERIAPOLICE

A Civil Society Organisation, Sterling Law Centre has threatened to sue the Inspector General Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, and other agencies for failure to arraign suspects over human rights violations of a Nigerian, Patrick Okachi.

The group, in a statement, called on the Commissioner of Police, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to direct immediate prosecution of the suspects in the appropriate court.

Executive Director of the group, Adaobi Iyiegbu, said they are worried over the delay of the FCT Police to prosecute perpetrators for torture, assault and acts of violence against Okachi.

The group said that the police, daily, arrest and charge others to court for those types of crimes, but failed to respond to a criminal one under the provisions of the Penal Code, Administration of Criminal Justice Act, the Anti-Torture Act 2017 and the Violence Against Persons (Prohibition) Act 2015.

They also called on the Director-General of the Director State Security (DSS) to offer all necessary cooperation to the Police to fish out the rogue officers who carried out the dastardly act.

Iyiegbu said: “Appeals to the Police authorities to ensure that any and all attempts at influencing the investigation and prosecution of the suspects are rejected.

“We call on all relevant agencies such as the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, National Human Rights Commission, the National Committee Against Torture, civil society organisation, media amongst others to lend their voices and support in their different capacities to ensure that Patrick Okachi gets justice.

“We notify the general public that a suit will be filed against all concerned parties to ensure the enforcement of Okachi’s fundamental human rights.”

Recall on November 3, 2022, Okachi, a cleaner in a hotel in Abuja, was accused of stealing an undisclosed amount of money from the office of the Chairman, the previous day, and claimed that he was caught on CCTV camera.

He, however, denied this allegation and demanded to see the CCTV footage, which was not shown to him.

The hotel, according to the CSO, instead of taking the lawful route to investigate and verify the allegation, decided to take the route of infamy, by contacting one Festus, who arranged for two rogue officials of the DSS to come into the office, picked Okachi up and tortured him by beating him severely with all kinds of weapons.

The group alleged further that the hotel went ahead to insert sharp objects in his penis, all in a bid to make him agree that he committed the theft.

“They then took him to another location in Dawaki where they kept him for two days. When it was clear that he was not going to confess to the crime he did not commit, the men took him out and dumped him on the streets of Abuja,” the group alleged, adding that the brutality was reported to the Central Police Station at the Federal Secretariat in Abuja and that investigation has been launched into the matter.