Extrajudicial killings: HURIWA seeks independence for PSC, NPF to deliver
Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, (HURIWA), yesterday, called on the Federal Government to ensure independence of the Police Service Commission (PSC) and Nigeria Police Force (NPF) for effective discharge of their constitutional mandates.
In a statement, the National Coordinator, Comrade Emmanuel Onwubiko, also sought that PSC’s offices be established in all 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) for purposes of investigating the legality or otherwise of use of weapons by policemen against citizens.
The appeal followed the extrajudicial killing of a Lagos-based lawyer, Bolanle Raheem, by ASP Drambi Vandhi on Christmas Day and murder of another Lagosian, Gafaru Buraimoh, by officers attached to Ajiwe Police Station on December 7, 2022 and hundreds of other unreported cases.
Onwubiko said: “The Federal Government needs to strengthen the PSC, build up the effective and efficient manpower to power the Commission’s mandates, which if adequately implemented and enforced by the right kind of science-based, evidence-driven investigations of policing misbehaviour and crimes such as extrajudicial killings of civilans, then the cases of police brutality will be checked and perpetrators punished severely in line with the extant laws on murder.”
“In the wake of the extra legal killing of the Lagos pregnant lawyer on Christmas Day, virtually everyone has spoken out in condemnation but structurally, both the NPF and the PSC are not independent in terms of implementation of their mandates. Funny enough, 70 per cent of the operatives are unaware of the existence of the Nigerian Police Act of 2020, which contains a plethora of provisions that specifies human rights of citizens in their encounter with the police.”
He added: “The government needs to take a bolder step to set up offices of PSC in all the states and (also) set up functional ballistic laboratory for purposes of investigating the legality or otherwise of police use of weapons against citizens, including even outlaws and criminals, as is done in the United Kingdom which has even an entirely independent body of investigators that analyses the use to which police operatives have put their weapons in the course of their functions of law enforcement.”